cover image Index of Haunted Houses

Index of Haunted Houses

Adam O. Davis. Sarabande, $15.95 ISBN 978-1-946448-66-8

The elegiac debut from Davis is interested in haunting in all its forms. Davis wonders “how/ terrible the stars/ are,” or why “We orphan// everything// we touch” in poems that catalogue and consider losses. The world of this collection is one of debt and desire, ghost stories and foreclosures, where “weather is a borrowed room.” Yet these poems still offer delight in their alliteration and repetition. Writing of a “lack// of locks,” or “lye/ and lollipop,” or “lemonade light,” Davis’s work offers a respite of pleasure amid poems that ask what to do after “Wreckage.” Subverting a common trope that associates ruin with nostalgia, Davis refuses to gloss what has been left behind, as he wonders what would have been “If we had been/ better and awake,” and “If we had accounted.” The ghosts of these poems are not just ghosts of blood and bodies, but of money, choices, and myths. This is a collection of stark witness and testimony, with a voice that manages to sing. (Sept.)