cover image Hairdo


Rachel B. Glaser. Song Cave, $17.95 (80p) ISBN 978-0-9967786-6-4

In her second verse collection, poet and fiction writer Glaser (Moods) wryly explores modern metamorphoses, in which one’s smartphone is a “dumb boyfriend” turned mirror, strangers are “half symbol half animal” depending on one’s needs, and the transition into adulthood is achieved by résumé revision and solo trips to the movies. Some of these evolutions are hilariously garbled and surreal, as in the “girl who became a puddle and then a horse.” A high school student has a sudden and profound shift in identity during Spanish class: “Mr Felipé christened me María/ he led me down a flowery path.” Glaser also displays a talent for making the dull banalities of life interesting. In “Deodorants Grow Bored of Their Smell,” the eponymous deodorants “want to run out/ but last forever and slowly lose their minds.” She also has a flair for titles, such as the apt and evocative “Teenage Girls Hot for the Eiffel Tower.” Elsewhere, a former manic pixie dream girl reflects on her lost whimsy: “it was always my birthday/ my hair curled with glee.” In “The World of Manet,” Glaser produces a clever, self-referential poem about another poem that was lost, the replacement rendering the original obsolete. Glaser’s funny, shrewd, and warped perspective makes the book entertaining and its rare moments of real intimacy feel even more significant. (Mar.)