I mentioned that I have a copy of my friend Dena Rash Guzman’s book Life Cycle Poems.
The short review is fuck this is gorgeous.
First let’s look at the book. I really like the design.
Now the poems.
Dena’s poetry has a pulse, it has flesh and is salty and sweaty and human. Occasionally I read poetry that is fine and nice to read but there can be a lack of physicality to it. I like my poems fleshy and grabby handed. I love reading poems that insist I feel things in my body.
What’s that phrase I love?
I can’t recall but Dena writes poems that even when quite brief have tactile awareness. I love that, especially from women writers. Often women are not encouraged to write in our bodies, not about motherhood or periods or anything beyond what titillates the male gaze. There is no consciousness of the male gaze in her work in that way and I love that.
Dena’s body is present in her work in a very beautiful way.
One of the pleasures of reading poetry for me are the moments when I have to put the book down and think about something I’ve just read. The moment in this book came for me at these two lines:
dare not to die, not today
consider the audacity
That fucking floored me. It’s very in line with how I have survived myself and life in general. It is quietly rebellious and resonated with me so much I spent a good while thinking about those two lines before I started reading again.
As is my habit with small elegant books I read it twice in a row and stopped in different places each time. That is one of the beautiful things about poetry that moves me. Each reading I have something different happen and that is a beautiful thing.
Overall I highly suggest buying your copy. To get a copy head here and get it.
This has been your review. Next week I will review Billion-Dollar Kiss: The Kiss That Saved Dawson’s Creek, and Other Adventures in TV Writing by Jeffrey Stepakoff. With my review I’ll talk about some of my suspicions about TV being confirmed and why I tend to not support TV in general.