by Tricia, May 25, 2005 12:38 PM
This is a book that will convert nonreaders of poetry into readers of poetry. Richman's wry and boasting voice interrogates the conventions and assumptions of the modern world, trying to make sense of the self in the midst of Nutrasweet and Naugahyde. She jumps nimbly from literary allusion (Hamlet and Horatio) to pop culture (Pop Tarts and Wile E. Coyote), but is firmly planted in the here and now: "I was conceived in the blue light/ of Johnny Carson's personality." Next to the voice in these poems is her searing wit. In one poem she has the devil's advocate threatening the devil and in another she tells us she's the boss "Because I alone can perfectly forge my signature." Topped with the raw eroticism of "Don't Move" and "I Still Dream of the Taste of You" and the revisionist telling of a date gone awry in "The Physics of Dating," this is a collection that defies elitist conceptions of poetry.