cover image Vow


Rebecca Hazelton. Cleveland State Univ, $15.95 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-0-9860257-0-9

Sparky personae, elegant—and sexy—scenes, and reflection about real bodies and adult relationships mingle and complement one another in this clear, witty second effort from Hazelton (Fair Copy). Her elegantly colloquial lines take in contemporary complaints and scenes, from “the mall that is not a mall/ but a facade of a downtown” to troubles with a “First Husband” (“I took your shaved curls from the sink”), to a breathtakingly honest, and only partly funny, poem for “The Penultimate Love of My Life” (“I want to spenda lot but not all of my years with you”). Yet like a skillful cartoonist, Hazleton can create outlandish alter egos, then put them through new contortions and paces. In one series of poems, “Fox and Rabbit” chase each other around symbolic obstacles, predator and prey in a dysfunctional romance. Another series follows a woman called Elise, both an alter ego for the poet and someone with whom the poet may have had a same-sex affair. Fox remembers how Rabbit “was always saying/ wrong things”; Elise shows up “As Marie Antoinette At Her Toilette,” and again “As Android At the Japan! Culture + Hyperculture Festival,” and again in the rear-view mirror: “my hand would wave to her even as she turned away.” (June)