Orexia (Review Series)

Each month I review a new book for ImageUpdate, which is put out by the fabulous people at IMAGE Journal. Here’s the latest.

51Kjj4ZSfzL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Poems as Temples
Orexia by Lisa Russ Spaar

Temples exist, possibly, not because the Holy is holier there, but to make us awake to it. A singular hour—one with a lover who is going on a journey, for example—draws up all our attention. Maybe this is why “Temple” and “Hour” appear so often in the poem titles of Lisa Russ Spaar’s new collection Orexia, a word which means “desire, appetite.” Discrete spaces, including bodies, are important in these poems. In “Temple Tomb,” a reimagining of John 20:11-18, the speaker is shocked by the physicality of the man who appears to her: “What did your body ever have / to do with me?” In “Temple Dictionary,” Spaar does heavy work in a space no bigger than a violet pressed in a dictionary: “genital lapels held in tiny, kama sutric / kimono foldings, obeisant // to the word “thesis,” a setting down. Down. / Forgive me, O once-alive. // I believed to press love / would be to make love.”

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