Genre: poetry, lgbt
In Andrea Gibson’s latest collection, they continue their artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.
Rating out of five: five
Be prepared to cry, I was definitely not and it took reading three poems for my eyes to start leaking, until I was a sobbing mess. This is what I want poetry to be, I was thinking over and over. I’d just put down another poetry collection that had important themes, but nothing new to convey, even through tough circumstances. Andrea Gibson is the opposite of that, they write poetry so filled with emotion that you can touch it, feel it around yourself.
It’s just such a strange mix of sweet, with stories of queer love, of incredibly traumatic events, with stories of being suicidal or loss, of hoplessness and hope as well. All the stories they had to tell got to me, especially of physical illness as it’s the one I’m most familiar with. One of personal goals this year is to find a better way to describe physical pain, which this did so incredibly well, along with emotional one. The stories are told in such a detailed and personal way, but at the same time putting words to more common emotions and situations brilliantly.
All my love to this poetry collection, I’ve definitely found a poet that will become one of my favourite. I’ll make sure to see it performed as spoken word pieces when I’m having a stable, good day because it took me thirty seconds out of five minutes to completely break down sobbing.
I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“You’re in the 7th grade. You don’t even know you want a girlfriend. You still believe in the people who believe in Jesus, can’t even feel that desire through it’s hell threat.”– YOUR LIFE by Andrea Gibson
[…] but secretly my favourite season is flu season. The season of proof that I’m tough as Christ forgiving the nails. The season everyone I love becomes a raging customer at the complaint counter of life, like their birth certificate were warranties, their bodies promised technology guaranteeing protection from all viruses. They break down, Nyquil drunk and say, I haven’t been able to exercise in three days. The last time I got the flu it took me three days to notice. I thought the pain was just the pain. […] Good god, there isn’t a healthy body in the world that is stronger than a sick person’s spirit. Thirty times last month I thought, I can’t do this another day. Thirty times last month I did it another day.”– GENDER IS THE KEY OF LYME DISEASE by Andrea Gibson
“During the visit, my niece only broke once, and only when the guard rattled his keys and rushed her to finish hugging her mother, the nightstick of his voice cracking over their bleeding goodbye. I restrained my fist in my pocket but wanted to knock him back to his own mother’s arms, where he might grow into a man without a uniform over his chest.”– BLACK AND WHITE ANGEL by Andrea Gibson
1. Loading the past into a cannon and murder this year.
Also the poems IVY (with great last lines), PHOTOSHOPPING MY SISTER’S MUGSHOT, ORLANDO, HURT THE FLY, ALL THE GOOD IN YOU, GIVE HER (so damn sweet), UNTIL WE ACT, LIVING PROOF.