Saturday poetry pick: Lucia Perillo

What abundance! This past week, I read On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths, by Lucia Perillo. These wry, unflinching poems call the world out on what it is, call people out on what they do. Celebrate. Challenge. Fiercely, they refuse to turn away from what’s messy or harmful. The poems invite rereading (“how, again, did she end up there?”).

The book begins with “The Second Slaughter,” which starts with Achilles and Hector, and then turns to oil wells burning in Iraq.

In “Black Transit,” Perillo gives us crows flocking to roost and visually describes the invisible:

they fly
as if the path were laid, as if
there were runnels in the air, molding
their way to the roost.

then notes how no one seems to respond, and perhaps that lack is complacency or a denial or a secret complicity. And the crows could stand for…

Then there’s “Hokkaido” and “To the Field of Scotch Broom That Will Be Buried by the New Wing of the Mall,” and the many other stunning poems in this book. (And her site links to Powells.)

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