By Colette LaBouff Atkinson
Within the properly titled Mean, Colette LaBouff Atkinson's audio system confront a sequence of merciless fans, estranged ex-husbands and ex-ex-wives, neglectful mom and dad, disrespectful kids, menacing drunks, would-be rapists, well-meaning yet ineffectual academics, and that tense child in first grade who wouldn't depart you by myself. dealing with to 'say' what so much people might in simple terms imagine yet by no means dare converse out loud, this beautiful debut assortment unearths that the horrors and cruelty we adventure in lifestyle can become very actual certainly. yet Atkinson doesn't in basic terms rake her topics around the coals: she deftly exposes, as a substitute, how the area mirrors again to us our personal meanness, lending it a fact and a historical past. In forty-three deadpan, usually cruel prose poems which are masterpieces of the shape, Mean lays naked the darkness in the narrator's middle in addition to in ours.
"Colette Labouff Atkinson's crafty laconicism attains the strength of a shout, with out ever elevating its voice. The clever, cruel narrative cool arrays a tragic comedy, with an unemphatic yet penetrating 'and then . . . and then': debts of affection pursued way more usually than it really is glimpsed or realized." - Robert Pinsky
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Extra resources for Mean (Phoenix Poets)
Cardinals stapled to a float’s crepe. Your eyes the only stationary parts. aubade I exhaust myself painting wet paint continuously on the cans of housepaint. Shh, goes the twist on the bread loaf bag. Your breath like boots through plasticky snow. Bubble gum pops: surgical mask. Kissing sounds compose the neighborhood dogs. Why take a picture of something that already exists? sun Sun on my chest like a permission slip taped to a child. I am so small I lean back to open doors. So many things I’ll never lift.
I make a thousand tiny snow angels with this corkscrew. I sleep with my belly 36 to her back like I’m holding in a wound. beasts I let you walk along the curb, being more concerned with cars out of storefronts. A man becomes an undertaker because he cannot afford flowers. A girl reading a book soaked by rain reaches out her hand to feel for rain. I whisper timber. I whisper fall. I climb the trees and feel for fruit with my boots. Every beast is afraid of some other beast. If you keep enough beasts around you, all the beasts will stay away.
A man becomes an undertaker because he cannot afford flowers. A girl reading a book soaked by rain reaches out her hand to feel for rain. I whisper timber. I whisper fall. I climb the trees and feel for fruit with my boots. Every beast is afraid of some other beast. If you keep enough beasts around you, all the beasts will stay away. pleasantness and shame I touch each stair first with my face. Hold myself by a single finger up against the mailboxes’ names. I keep lifting the mailbox’s flag so the postman will grasp inside.
Mean (Phoenix Poets) by Colette LaBouff Atkinson