cover image Intimacies, Received

Intimacies, Received

Taneum Bambrick. Copper Canyon, $17 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-1-55659-631-5

In this visceral and tender outing, Bambrick (Vantage) explores the relationship between trauma, intimacy, and memory. Mostly set in Southern Spain, these poems are grounded in the reality of the image. Characters drink “raisin wine,” a horse is “tied to an old bridge,” there are “coins smaller than pennies,” and someone throws “two jump ropes over an olive tree.” These details place the reader in a fragrant setting while Bambrick navigates the difficulty and pain of discovering the self: “I wonder what I should be.” In another poem, she wonders how long she has thought that “the most important place/ was the place where somebody wanted me.” Bambrick’s poems are lyric tightropes, walking the thin line between the real and the imaginary, and highlighting how trauma lives in a fragile present. They are equally brave in their honest exploration of sexuality and their frank admission of the struggle of such an exploration. “Every day,” she writes, “I feel further from/ an idea of queerness.” This collection glitters like stained glass, offering an intimate portrait of someone trying to live mindfully. (Oct.)