Reviews in 200 Words

Lighthead by Terrance Hayes

In Poetry on January 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Hayes isn’t messing around: he triggers emotion the way a sneeze comes on and can’t be ignored. Feel it all. One poem gives you all the hope and sadness of The Road. You’re a child. You’re learning with every line. With every break. “Twenty Measures of Chitchat,” is a slideshow of voices: so many different languages, so many different ways of saying a thing. When I said my past was a severed tail, I had my eyes closed, so the lie wouldn’t sting. We are all addicted to beauty instead of light and love and life. Hayes reminds us of important things, like music. This book is full of music. And also what it means to come together as people instead of enemies, instead of colors. These poems are more than poems; they’re lists and notes and entire histories. They’re cocktail hour and confession and 26 imaginary T-shirts. They’re hilarious. Who wouldn’t wear this on a shirt, U.S. map above the caption: “The only thing that fucks you up more than poverty is wealth”? These poems are packed. They’re guides and lessons and rules. These poems are real cool.

-Micah Ling

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  1. love this review!

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