Finding their music in syntactical rhythms and rhetorical strategies, LaFemina’s sentences are sharpened to delight the ear. He writes of a rock “the shape not of a valentine but of an animal heart,” and this collection is both a valentine to love’s many forms and also full of animal heart—vulnerable, earnest, unabashed. It’s also smart, sonic, and funny, as in this line from the poem, “My Afternoon with the Critics”: “I rode with Foucault in his Renault Reliant to watch porno with Adorno on a torn couch beside the icon of Lacan.” LaFemina is both intellectual and heart-forward, and these prose poems ride the line between forms like a pick up truck owning the entirety of road in a dark night, swerving toward art, music, literature, history, and gunning it through intersections with the lived life. As bleak as it gets, though, LaFemina knows, “the North Star just a lit window across the street” can get one through those restless nights.
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