cover image Cry Perfume

Cry Perfume

Sadie Dupuis. Black Ocean, $16 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-1-939568-62-5

Musician Dupuis brings creative duality to her playful second collection (after Mouthguard), with peppery one-liners such as “The money’s in fiction/ I can handle the truth” and “Be mine but be/ away from me” showcasing her songwriting roots. In five parts, the you the speaker addresses throughout is mourned, loved, and conjured: “writing your name in honey/ on a slip of paper and hiding/ that in a drawer for underwear// how much grief is normal?” In another, she confesses, “It’s me, you know me, you know what I’m like/ Me in the sweaty palm of your permanent gripe.” The shift from grip to gripe is just one example of how Dupuis transforms well-worn phrases. Instead of files, Dupuis is “dropping my flies/ in your outbox,” and instead of amateur hour, in her poem “Amateur Honor,” embarrassment is “marked with a streak of beige.” Moments of honesty that peek through the wordplay and humor are breathtaking: “White petals circumnavigate the empty seethe.” However, cryptic imagery and clever jokes can occasionally distract from the anxious vulnerability and tenderness that glimmer at this collection’s core. Still, these pages deliver lively pleasures and searing explorations that are worth revisiting. (Jan.)