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Amputee's Guide to Sex

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    Jillian Weise is a remarkably gifted poet. Jillian Weise incidentally happens to wear an artificial leg. As her first published collection of poems she elects to utilize both aspects and the result is a series of well-crafted, intensely sensitive poems ostensibly about how people react to amputees at the level of our most vulnerable reaction: sexual attraction. Weise is neither belligerent nor pitiful in her poems that deal with sexual encounters. She has the courage to embrace her physical status and use it as a barometer for examining how the public in general (and male lovers, in particular) responds to people with 'deformities', such as an artificial limb. Her sense of perspective allows her to see the comedy in the moment of 'discovery' of her 'differentness', relating how men react when during initial passion to the feel of plastic instead of flesh. But Wiese wisely presents the feelings as the one missing a limb: her mental state ranges from pain to anger to daring to pride and at each step her poems reach in a few well-chosen words a level of communication that is astonishing fine. Some of the poems in this fascinating collection address the communication barriers between physician and patient in dealing with frank discussions about quality of life status: they are illuminating. She also provides little guides to couples in their preparation for intimate activity, couples where one who has a missing limb and the other is 'whole'. Most people will pick up this little book (hopefully!) because of the titillating title, AN AMPUTEE'S GUIDE TO SEX is a title that conjures all manner of responses - but mostly curiosity. And for a first volume of published poems the title may heighten the sales of the book. But once any reader opens and reads these poems, that reader will discover a powerful new poet whose manner of writing and whose communication skills are as pungent as anyone writing poetry today. Jillian Weise finds her way into our psyche and into our heart and she is a very welcome newcomer in the field of poetry! Grady Harp

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