Erin Belieu's Slant Six (Copper Canyon, 2014)
I have fewer passages to quote with this collection because many of these poems' power comes from the way they operate as a whole; nonetheless, of course I found some to give you a flavour of this fresh work:
...I can't recall when anticipation
became the substitute for hope.
I imagine digging a series of small
holes, burying poems in Ziploc
baggies. I imagine them as baby teeth
knocked from the present's mouth.
from 'Ars Poetica for the Future'
Because what's more
American than a full stomach on a sunny morning?
What more than this fat-assed acceleration,
driving with the windows cranked down?
end of 'Someone Asks, What Makes This Poem American?'
...because we 'grant the name of love
to something less than love,'
because we all have to eat.
end of 'Love Is Not an Emergency'
But who isn't more war
from 'The Body Is a Big Sagacity'
And hence to lady
work I went. A-sent, ago, long scrubbing at
my bits to strip them extra minty meadow
from 'I Growed No Potatoes to Write About, Sir'
I believe there is a helping of vegetables
in every selfless and measured thought.
I am now able to hold subjects--
like lighthouses--at an objective angle
and admire them for their spooky,
What is a kiss
but the mouth's potential for wreckage?
from 'Love Letter: Final Visitation'
it all goes up.
Kablooey! Good luck
enjoying those bonfires
with no s'mores!
from 'Après Moi'