Lucifer at the Starlite

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Overview

Lucifer at the Starlite explores life's dual nature: good and evil, light and dark, suffering and moments of unexpected joy. Whether looking outward to events on the world stage - the war in Iraq, the 2004 Asian tsunami - or inward at struggles with the self, the speaker in these poems aims at the heart and against the feeling that Lucifer may have already won the day.

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Lucifer at the Starlite

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Overview

Lucifer at the Starlite explores life's dual nature: good and evil, light and dark, suffering and moments of unexpected joy. Whether looking outward to events on the world stage - the war in Iraq, the 2004 Asian tsunami - or inward at struggles with the self, the speaker in these poems aims at the heart and against the feeling that Lucifer may have already won the day.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Addonizio's gifts-clarity, wicked wit and directness about sex-remain on view in this, her fifth, collection, albeit with slightly diminishing returns. The Bay Area poet (What Is This Thing Called Love) extracts humor from headlines, takes comfort in the everyday and manages both to celebrate and to decry her complicated sexual self: "My Heart, "she says, is "That initial-scarred tabletop,/ that tiny little dance floor... That dressing room in the fetish boutique... That funhouse, that horror, that soundtrack of screams." Verse about modern love can push the bounds of the art, or of the unartful: poems try coyly "to say things/ disallowed from serious poetry/ and employ instead the lexicon of porn spam." Such work can certainly entertain. Less happily, poems based on fairy tales land too close to their older model, Anne Sexton, and poems about public catastrophes (Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami of 2004, the Iraq war) end up neither funny nor seriously powerful. Some of Addonizio's best poems ought to be popular-a counterpart, as it were, to chick lit fiction ("I lost you like that grape jawbreaker/ I'd saved for last") and far better technically than many kindred poets. Fans of Addonizio's prior books will find much to like, but newcomers might do better with earlier volumes. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Addonizio doesn't do pretty; beneath her considerable wit is a wickedly sharp edge. The first section of her third book of poems (after What Is This Thing Called Love) opens with the false bravado of a bar fly: "O everyone's dead and the rain today is marvelous." In the title poem, Lucifer makes a case for taking over as world CEO, promising to do better even than God at being bad. Addonizio cleverly borrows for comic effect ("I have been one acquainted with the spatula"), referencing poets from Berryman to Eliot to Frost, but she owes her true debt to the New York School and the Beats. Her poetry has a deceptively easy feel, spinning tour de force into unexpected intensity, as in "The Smallest Town Alive," which has one sign: Now Entering, Now Leaving. VERDICT No matter how depressing the topic, Addonizio can't help enjoying her own imagination, and the pleasure is infectious: "the moon gets up as usual, heads for the refrigerator or the bathroom,/ then lies awake, longing for/ the Xanax it resembles." A winner.—Ellen Kaufman, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393335255
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/31/2011
  • Pages: 89
  • Sales rank: 981,573
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kim Addonizio is a fiction writer, poet, and teacher. Her poetry collections include Tell Me, a finalist for the National Book Award, What Is This Thing Called Love, and Lucifer at the Starlite. She lives in Oakland, California.

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Table of Contents

Sign Your Name 13

I Happy Hour

November 11 17

Yes 19

For You 20

Easeful Death 21

Splendor Hour 22

Lucifer at the Starlite 24

Storm Catechism 25

The Burning 27

There Seems No Way to Get At It 29

Verities 30

You 31

II Jukebox

Where Childhood Went 35

Snow White: The Huntsman's Story 36

Dream-Pig 38

Long-Distance 40

You Were 42

The First Line Is the Deepest 44

Another Day on Earth 46

Forms of Love 47

The Little Dog Upstairs That Never Quits Barking 49

Book Burning 50

The Smallest Town Alive 52

Migrations 53

III Dance Floor

Feeling Sexy 57

You with the Crack Running Through You 58

The Matter 59

Crossing 61

Weaponry 62

To a Rose 63

Suite pour les Amours Perdus 64

IV I Am Going to Have to Take Your Keys

In the Lonely Universe 71

Merrily 72

Malice 73

Hansel 74

Sui 75

My Heart 77

God Ode 78

Semper 80

Half-Blind Elegy 81

Shrine 83

In the Evening 84

News 86

Happiness After Grief 88

Acknowledgments 89

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