August 21 , 2008



Part roving eye, part devotion, you wander hotel corridors, entering rooms not quite yours, trying on clothes, blankets, skins. Arguing with the body's limits and its trickery, you are always in disguise. Sometimes you're Leda; sometimes the swan. The rooms are haunted with gendered injuries of the past . . . but messengers arrive to guide you. In this stunning debut collection by Ali Blythe, every poem is unerringly built with hatches and escapes. Every line shimmers with life and shivers with fleeting materials. Someone or something is always leaving. The early poems, almost claustrophobic in their double vision, gradually give way to poems of aching beauty, erotically charged by the myth of completeness. Ultimately, whether you emerge or disappear, you are transformed.

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