Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book Review: Write about an Empty Birdcage (TW for bulimia)

Elaina M. Ellis's debut book, Write About an Empty Birdcage, is a colorful mix of queer writing, feminist views and the occasional funny poem.

As the back blurb states, the poems are a mix of "full-open swing of spoken word [and] academia"; she talks about her struggle and survival of bulimia in "B-Poem", with haunting lines like "I want to say this,/because we are not pigs./...with fear of my own power".

She describes what it was like being with a woman after being with men for several years in the poem "Confession, After Everything":

When my body finally said yes,
to women, it was muffled-in-
muff yes. It was a suckled
into nipple-after-nipple yes.
It was a loud popping yes,
wet yes, red yes, yes after years
without. I almost didn't think
of you at all.

Another favorite line is from the poem "Horizon, One Morning I Watched You"; "Isn't there a kind of violence/to the inevitability/of sunrise?"

The collection is beautiful and haunting and a fine debut from a great new poet.


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