Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You
by Lea Graham
The voices, the presences, convened here are astonishing. Sappho, Neruda,
the Venus of Willendorf, Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, Mrs. Robinson, Marian
Anderson, the Everley Brothers, Aphrodite and a recurrent, benevolent
Velvet Elvis, all drawn into the swirl of these wonderfully rich, energetic
poems. In this poetic sequence, each poem is called a Crush, and Graham
means each to have at least the double sense of the word—of uncontrollable
infatuation and desire and of destructiveness, to have a crush on and
to be crushed, to crumple or grind down, to subdue or be subdued. These
double and redoubling forces are, for Graham, essential to perception
and affection, grace and need, voiced at times by the poetry of the past
but as often by the passing tatters of popular music and the movies.
Many of these poems have the word “crush” in their texts or titles, and from this book onward “crush” is a word that Lea Graham has a kind of patent on. Graham, in fact, has a passionate crush on life, and we all know that even the most adolescent of crushes can suddenly turn to real love. Because of that, we as readers have a crush on Graham and her work, which is vivid and lively and smart. Beneath all the fun in this writing, there’s insight and depth and even sadness.
Lea Graham is a native of Northwest Arkansas and author of the chapbook, Calendar Girls (above ground press, 2006). She is an Assistant Professor of English at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
No Tell Books
Pub. Date: August 2011