Synopses & Reviews
A breathtaking new collection from one of today's boldest and most adventurous poets.
Colloquial and incantatory, the poems in Patricia Lockwood's second collection address the most urgent questions of our time, like: what if a deer did porn? Is America going down on Canada? What happens when Niagara Falls gets drunk at a wedding? Is it legal to marry a stuffed owl exhibit? What would Walt Whitman's tit-pics look like? Why isn't anyone named Gary anymore? Did the Hatfield and McCoy babies ever fall in love? The steep tilt of Lockwood's lines sends the reader snowballing downhill, accumulating pieces of the scenery with every turn. The poems subject is the natural world, but their images would never occur in nature. This book is serious and funny at the same time, like a big grave with a clown lying in it.
"With her second collection, Lockwood (Balloon Pop Outlaw Black) continues to develop a poetics that interrogates those categories to which societies pledge allegiance: nation, gender, nature, and sexuality. Nothing is off limits here and often the poems' responses to their subjects whether natural, political, or epistemological are a fumbling, projective sexual ecstasy: 'Your sight and your hearing increase, like wheat/ and the wind in the wheat..../ Blue sky increases above the wheat/ and you know what it's like to grow a... well.' At home where the startling is status quo, Lockwood's provocative 'Rape Joke' sees itself plain: 'The rape joke is if you write a poem called Rape Joke, you're asking for it to become the only thing people remember about you.' Fiercely smart and aching with imagination, she addresses what it means to be 'a series of places where animal parts could emerge,' yet remains able to wonder 'how can there be enough room in America to make what makes it up.' Lockwood's poems register the full force of what they deliver and yet admirably refuse to see that as a reason to back away: 'The gulf between a word and what it represents is still so great, but a shocking reflection of perfect tits floats and will always float there.' (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Patricia Lockwood was born in a trailer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in all of the worst cities of the Midwest. Her debut collection, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black, was released in 2012. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, the London Review of Books, Poetry, Slate, and The Awl. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri.