Brute, Emily Skaja

This book is fierce! It’s a reading that dwells on the living through endings and upon closer examination, some beginnings, as well. Skaja’s word choice is superb, fresh, wild. From “How to Mend a Faucet Dripping Thread”

Every morning, a spider webs over my door, but I don’t do omens.

I will not hang all the maids, for example; it’s antifeminist.

But I will lie here with my face annexing the floor. Penelope, neat.

Pouring out a little whiskey for the sirens & swine.

Did I mention my love for the hat tip to older, timeless stories?

Organized into four sections: My History As, Girl Saints, Circle, and Bright Landscape, Skaja has interspersed each with two elegies with titles such as, “Elegy without a Single Tree I Can Save,” “Elegy with Feathers,” and “Elegy with Rabbits.” She explores forms such as the aubade.

Skaja’s poetry is such that it begs to be read aloud and my now-worn copy is filled with dog-eared pages for future reunions.

(Graywolf Press, 2018)

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