That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness
Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney
Cover design by Catherine Bourassa-Hébert
$12.50 + p&h
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.
BASED ON A TRUE STORY
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.