Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones: Selected and New Poems

Lucia Perillo. Copper Canyon (Consortium, dist.), $23 trade paper (244p) ISBN 978-1-55659-473-1
With this volume that spans more than 20 years and six poetry collections, Perillo (On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths), a poet, fiction writer, and MacArthur Fellow, exhibits her range and depth in exquisite yet unfussy poems. She writes skillfully of urban, suburban, and wild environments, but she’s nearly unparalleled when addressing the “meat cage,” and its pain and mortality. Perillo’s poems move against the backdrop of her own struggle with multiple sclerosis: “If I sleep on my belly, pinning it down,/ my breasts start puling like baby pigs/ trapped under their slab of torpid mother.” Yet these vivacious poems reveal humor, sexuality, and a sharp sense of images and turns of phrase. Her 4-page narrative poem, “Limits,” may be one of the most graphic and vulnerable poems about death in the genre, but Perillo’s later poems move away from dense text and rich narrative, opening up into shorter pieces, and the kind of long, airy, and sprawling single-line stanzas found in her magnetic poem “The Rape of Blanche DuBois.” Few writers capture the beautiful and the sordid as well as Perillo, and this marvelous collection is full of “those black moments that contained both the ardor and the horror, and the wonder at their having been simultaneously created.” (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/15/2016
Release date: 11/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 200 pages - 978-1-61932-150-2
Paperback - 254 pages - 978-1-55659-502-8
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