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.
A lyrically intense fifth collection from “one of the nation’s most provocative and edgy poets” (San Diego Union-Tribune).
Library JournalAddonizio 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
San Diego Union-Tribune“Bitter, urgent and unsparing, her poems are also at times jaw-droppingly brilliant.”
San Francisco Chronicle“Lucifer at the Starlite sounds like a glam-rock show and holds many poems that hurtle forward, filled with emotion that doesn't spill into sentimentality.”
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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