cover image Daryl Hall Is My Boyfriend

Daryl Hall Is My Boyfriend

Erica Lewis. Barrelhouse (SPD, dist.), $10 trade paper (88p) ISBN 978-0-9889945-3-9

Lewis (Murmur in the Inventory) takes inspiration from Hall and Oates lyrics as she draws an intricate schematic of nostalgia that glows with auras of pop culture, sentimentality, and, inevitably, the reader's own associations. With "every song/ a time a moment some circumstance some person," Lewis uses the pop duo's lyrics as a portal through which to access a past listening experience%E2%80%94and the thoughts and feelings that listening experience evoked%E2%80%94and to reanimate it in the present. Elements of a particular childhood and adolescence occasionally surface, but this is more than a contained narrative: the poems map the relationships among music, memory, place, and the passage of time. Lewis writes, "i want you to sing me/ a song/ throw it in the opposite direction of the way life seems to be going," and with each poem she performs a Penelope-like act, unweaving decades-old songs to retrieve parts of the past. Occasionally incorporating quotations from other sources and mixing time periods, the collection frames these culturally shared fragments of language within a single lyric voice. By intertwining the public and the personal, Lewis's poems become a membrane through which pop culture permeates the most intimate experiences of selfhood: "i think about all those radio waves// our swarming innards." (Dec.)