Out of print for several years, Olena Kalytiak Davis’s
has earned cult classic status
and is an electrifying collection brimming with intelligence, humor, and ardor. · “Just when [poetry]
appears to be flat-lining, there comes along a collection that, by virtue of ambition, and its devotion
to feeling at the expense of theoretical rigor or formal rigidity, breathes life into American verse,
sending it back on the street to raise up its hue and cry. Such is Olena Kalytiak Davis’s urgent and
$17 paperback ·
978-1-55659-440-3 · 110 pages · Available October 2014
sweet reader, flanneled and tulled
Reader, toward you, loud as a cloud and deaf, Reader, deaf
as a leaf. Reader:
Why don’t you turn
Why don’t you tremble?
Reader, You—who can read this and not even
flinch. Bare-faced, flint-hearted, recoilless
Reader, dare you—Rare Reader, listen
and be convinced: Soon, Reader,
soon you will leave me, for an italian mistress:
for her dark hair, and her moon-lit
teeth. For her leopardi and her cavalcanti,
for her lips and clavicles; for what you want
to eat, eat, eat. Art-lover, rector, docent!
Do I smile? I, too, once had a brash artless
feeder: his eye set firm on my slackening
sky. He was true! He was thief! In the celestial sense
he provided some, some, some
(much-needed) relief. Reader much-slept with, and Reader I will die
without touching, You, Reader, You: mr. small-
weed, mr. broad-cloth, mr. long-dark-day.
Olena Kalytiak Davis
shattered sonnets love cards and other
off and back handed importunities
“How do we make any decisions? I mean, in
the same way we/I make any decisions. Logic.
Aesthetics. Discretion. Permission. Mood.
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