Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. "Don't believe Melissa Broder when she writes, 'I'm afraid / to say anything with heart.' This book is not afraid, as she proves right away and on every page, and that's why we needed her to make it. A little dark, a little damaged, a little deranged, but definitely not afraid—and never short on the titular organ, which also acts as mouth and mind. The whole book pumps, and I swear some of what's coming in and out are flashes of light that you can read it by."—Mark Bibbins
"The speaker in MEAT HEART is either an old-world witch or a contemporary warlock. That is to say, this speaker-being gallops through time making thrilling observations. There is a focus on meat, blood and food. The poems tear through the reader with a reassuring giggle, yet remain ominous. Broder writes, 'I find a thighbone in his mattress / and think of friends gone missing.' She also writes 'G-d loves my hair,' so we are reminded not to be overly frightened. To read MEAT HEART is to consume, perish, murder, glitter, and prophesize. To say that Broder is fearless is not saying enough."—Natalie Lyalin
"With her hallmark wit and brilliance, Melissa Broder has followed up her heralded WHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER with MEAT HEART, a book of poems that is at once apocalyptic, full of sorrow, and packed with images crystalline in their beauty and truth. In these poems, Broder takes us through a world that is both alien and familiar to the world that we already know, a wild landscape where there is 'ash fish / and elemental octopi,' where 'cornhusk filaments / Still jacket tongues,' and where in a place with '200 flavors of panic / the worst is seeing with no eyes.' All of these freakish things to help us confront the bald fact that we are all just a series of meat hearts ourselves. It is here that Broder shows her generosity as a poet, because she makes us a new world in these poems where we go beyond meat—a world where Broder tells us, 'Somewhere I stopped looking for magic.' I guess she found all she needed; this book is full of magic."—Dorothea Lasky
"Building on the foundation she laid in her lush and sneering debut, When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother, Broder's second collection cranks up the weird by mining the grotesqueries of her speakers' relationships with men, god, the self, and food. That these elements often become indistinguishable--as in 'Ciao Manhattan,' where 'It is so god/ When the voice is like wheat// Spooned wheat/ In whole milk'--is evidence of Broder's talent for showing us our contemporary conflict: god is both a haven from the grotesque and the name we rail against when we aren't safe from it. But Broder is smarter than to suggest that there are only two sides to this dilemma. Out to 'crucify boredom,' her poems show us how any relationship with the divine is no less at risk of engendering grotesque lust. 'Yesterday the worship rattled like an engine,' she writes, and 'God keeps unfurling me/ with god's gigantic helium.' What makes Broder such a pleasure on the page is her insistence that these dramas play out on a workaday stage infused with surreal Pop and imaginative muscle. 'When the last Beatle dies,' she tells us in 'Ringo,' 'the president hits a kill switch/ and all our possessions/ drift like eyelashes/ through a crack in the sky.' In Broder's hands, it's good to kiss them good-bye. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Melissa Broder is also the author of MEAT HEART (Publishing Genius Press, 2012) and WHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER (Ampersand Books, 2010), which Publishers Weekly calls "as funny and hip as it is disturbing." Poems appear or are forthcoming in Guernica, Redivider, The Missouri Review online, Drunken Boat, Court Green, Barrelhouse, Opium and more. She edits the online journal La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series. By day she is a publicity manager at Penguin. She lives in Brooklyn.