"In lines that remind me of the way William Carlos Williams insisted that only the imagination gives us access to reality, Lasky's poems evoke a practice of living, as bloody and awful and lovely as living can ever be."—Julia Bloch, Bitch
"The beautiful thing about Lasky, in all her work, but particularly here, is her ability to create that same sense of earnestness, the sense that she is telling you a secret."—InDigest Magazine, InDigest Picks
Go, brave and gentle reader, with Dorothea Lasky to the "purple motel / where the bird lives." Go with her, as you have willingly gone down the dark passages before, with her bare-faced poems for guidance. Thunderbird's controlled rage plunges into the black interior armed with nothing but guts and Lasky's own fiery heart to light the way.
Baby of air
You rose into the mystical
Side of things
You could no longer live with us
We put you in a little home
Where they shut and locked the door
And at night
You blew out
And went wandering . . .
Dorothea Lasky is also the author of Black Life and AWE, both from Wave Books. She lives in New York.
Even after titling her last book Black Life, Lasky's latest aims to go darker more death-driven with poems that can be as commanding and loud as they can understated and vulnerable. "I like weird ass hippies," she writes in a poem of the same name, "I like the lamb's blood you throw on my face." Elsewhere Lasky pulls even fewer punches: "I want to be dead." What makes her voice so inviting, easy to love, and ultimately disarming is how ambivalent Lasky can be about the emotion she braids into her lines. "What I say are feelings," she writes, "Are also not feelings." And the same voice that tells us "it's true, I love you guys and gals" also issues this fired-up correction to both poets and idol worshippers alike: "God is wild, and not human/ And when people make God human/ He stares at you through the eyes of a bear/ And beats his terrible bearded chest." It's perhaps unavoidable that Lasky's willful innocence will lead her to lines that belittle her complexity, as when she declares that "The world doesn't care if you are sad" or asks "Why are people so cruel?" But all of this is worth Lasky's thoughts on where poets should take their art: "Poets should go back to saying crazy shit."