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That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness by Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney

That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness

Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney

104 pages

Cover design by Catherine Bourassa-Hébert

ISBN: 978-0-9804541-4-7     

Otoliths 2008

$12.50 + p&h

URL: http://www.lulu.com/content/2210697


This collaboration between Elisa Gabbert and Kathleen Rooney is “Just more entertaining than poems are supposed to be. And I'm not using the word "entertaining" as some kind of sly putdown either. These poems have more human interaction going on in a couple of lines than many writers manage in a couple of books. The linguistic energy and, really, virtuosity, can be stunning. These are poems that know what people are like when they're around people.” —Mark Wallace

from That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness




I want to be both tall & small,

as aggressive & vulnerable as

a violently wounded wild animal

curled in a thicket. So stick it


in the tender button of my

mind’s eye. Do you mind

if I? If I get a bit transgressive

or will that make you confessive.


I’m a bad listener. Don’t bother

checking yourself out in the mirror

‘cause it’s out of order. Technically,

half of what I do, I do for attention.


It’s due to sexual tension. If I

mention kitten heels, mittens on

parade. Feel me? I’m smitten

by the way you knit me that hat


w/ the arctic fox on it. My bonnet

is a symbol of want, of desire,

& my desire is a symbol of

poor judgment. My skill as a liar.






I dreamt that I slept through my alarm,

threw a copy of Animal Farm at Orwell

& then dropped out of college. At least


knowledge & scholarship don’t cause

premature death anymore, bodily harm,

or heretofore unacknowledged existential


low self-esteem. But what do I know

of romance? Glance glance. Kiss kiss.

It can’t be that simple. That stupid.


There have to be enemies. Chances

are, this is all an elaborate allegory,

though I wish it were a fantasia.


I wish life were as sick as my fantasies.

I think I’m sick. A fever. A fever dream

poem that ends “& then I woke up.”

John Deming reviews That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness at Cold Front Mag.