On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A New York Times Book Review "100 Notable Books of the Year" selection; Publishers Weekly "Top 10 Poetry Book of the Year"; winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award for Poetry; and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
"Perillo has long lived with, and written about, her struggle with debilitating multiple sclerosis. Her bracing sixth book of poems takes an unflinching, though not unsmiling, look at mortality."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The poems in On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths are taut, lucid, lyric, filled with complex emotional reflection while avoiding the usual difficulties of highbrow poetry."—The New York Times Book Review
From "Victor the Shaman":
I feel the need for more humanitybecause the winter wren is not enough, even with its complicated music emanating
from the brambles. So I relent to my friendwho keeps bugging me to see her shaman, tutored by the Indians who live at the base
of Monte Albán. Tutored also by the heavy bagat Sonny's Gym: Box like heaven / Fight like hellhis T-shirt says; the graphic shows an angel's fist
buried to the wrist in Satan's brisket, while the princeof dark jabs the angel's kisser . . .
Lucia Perillo grew up in the suburbs of New York City in the 1960s. She graduated from McGill University in Montreal, completed her MA in English at Syracuse University, and for most of the 1990s she taught in the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University. She currently resides in Olympia, Washington.
infernal appetite—driving them, too, on. Autothalamium On my wedding night I drove the white boat, its steering wheel a full yard wide. The dress bellied out behind me like a sail as I gripped the lacquered wood and circuited the bay. The poem by Akhmatova having already been read, the calamari and cake already eaten, I stood alone in the wheelhouse while my friends danced to the balalaikas outside on the deck. I could not speak for the groom, who left me to the old motor’s
be replaced by replicas that have more glare and blare and bling. RoboSeed, RoboRose, RoboHeart, RoboSoul— this way there’ll be no blight on any of the cherished encapsulations when the blight was what we loved. 5. They grow in chains from the bigleaf maple, chains that lengthen until they break. In June, when the days are long and the sky is full and the swept pile thickens with the ones grown brown and brittle, oh see how I’ve underestimated the persistence of the lace
through a googolplex of twitching motes. Giving us Isabelle unclothed again, Isabelle in the tones of the wood of a cello, Isabelle if you’re trying to save us now all your skin is not enough. Proximity to Meaningful Spectacle* Monday Wednesday Friday, I swim with the old ladies, hurry: the synchronized swimming team arrives at three. We ride the wacky noodles through blue pastures lit by chemicals— I like to go under in my goggles to watch their them-ness
idea of the darkness once the mandible closed. Call me bad gnat: see how every other thing strives— more life! Even with just two neurons firing the urge. Then the she-fly’s abdomen swung forward to take the sperm packet from his thorax, and he finished chewing in this position that the field guide calls The Wheel. Call me the empress of the unused bones, my thighs fumigated by the rank detritus of the shore while the meal and The Wheel interlocked in a chain in the blue
The boy had a guinea pig named Fireball, so I taught him the song by way of mourning when it died. He still possessed his sweetness, unlike older sons who think you are a moron without big subwoofers in your car. To that son I say: you may think you’re one of the alpha-carnivores just because you’ve shot many avatars of whores on a video screen that you will never have the Cuban missile crisis on; you do not even really have the bomb, and how can anyone command their cool without the