Stunning poems of obsession, loss, and the desire for a renewed self, from the award-winning poet
“I thought I had left behind the darkness / of the heart,” Arvio confesses in the poem “Small War.” The love Arvio traces in these pages is indeed a battle, one in which the best-laid plans are shattered. Rarely has a poet tackled intimate love with so much invention and bravery.
In poem after poem, we meet the troubling lover whose nearness and force undoes her. There are moments of reprieve: “my naked body and budding pleasure / in the weather of your presence. / Not whether your presence but how.” The voice is vulnerable, self-knowing, often funny; the poet seems to be writing these poems to save herself from a devastating passion. Her weapons are a cascade of brash, freely spoken lines and a powerful command of metaphor, wielded in a search for meaning and understanding.
These breathtaking love poems make the collection Arvio’s most universal to date.