Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dorothea Lasky - AWE

Dorothea Lasky from

Dorothea Lasky

John Albertson in the Summer Sun

O John Albertson, you are so summery
In the summer sun.

You are so summery

You summery love.

You sunny summery kiss on the forehead and cheek.

Kiss me on the forehead and cheek, then kiss me on the lips.

Kiss me on the lips and hold my breasts.

Hold my thighs and breasts and then hold my breasts.

Hold my thighs to your thighs, then take me inside of you.

Hold me in your stomach and make a baby of me.

I think it is sweet that you have a cat.

I think it is nice that you have a cat and call
It Mr. Fingers.

When we talk on the phone, I want to say:
“Well hello Mr. Fingers.” And the cat would say back

“Well hello.”

* * * * *

What to say about this book? There’s a way that it reminds me (in the poem above and elsewhere) of Gertrude Stein (Lifting Belly, especially), in the way the elemental repetitions teeter at the liminal space between innocence and obsession. It’s an ambivalent space, catching the tone of perception, twisted through a precocious lens. It’s captivating. I can see why people are talking.


At 11/18/2007 10:29 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Interesting poem.

I have a fascination with repetition. I just adore it, when it's done well.

Yet another poet to add to my list of "must-reads"

At 11/19/2007 9:37 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

The majority of the book is similar to this poem in tone and method, so I bet you'll find it interesting all through.

At 11/19/2007 5:13 PM, Blogger Radish King said...

I think it's a bit precious. Gertrude would have told it it had nice legs then turned the conversation back to the men.

At 11/19/2007 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are things that i liked about this book

but then there were things about it that seemed too easy somehow

i am conflicted

i think i like my poems a little more hard-won

At 11/20/2007 4:48 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


That's true. "Hard-won" isn't a phrase I would use for this book . . . There's a delirious kind of freedom here, that does risk, though, as well, as RK mentions, being precious. A very different kind of danger than I'm used to.

At 11/20/2007 8:37 AM, Blogger Steven D. Schroeder said...

I like her poems better on the page than aloud, though a lot of that may come from the fact that she and the microphone did not get along well at the reading I went to.

At 11/22/2007 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Clouds in the Morning Sun was well worth the price of admission because she finally took the bloodied stranger into her mouth and held him there for a very long time--even though earlier a sword entered her abdomen and she fell off a cliff into a neverending ocean because someone said her poems were shit--I wanted to be there for her then, too. Taking the bloodied stranger into the mouth is one of the reasons I approach any book. Bad bias, do with it what you will.

I do look forward to the next book. To the spit & grit. To the notion of 'grasping at nothing.'

Precious:Yes. I see what Radish says. But that one poem. I sent it to all of my friends (3). I am hopeful.



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