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Mortal Trash: Poems (Paperback)
“Kim Addonizio’s voice lifts from the page, alive and biting—unleashing wit with a ruthless observation.”—San Francisco Book Review
Passionate and irreverent, Mortal Trash transports the readers into a world of wit, lament, and desire. In a section called “Over the Bright and Darkened Lands,” canonical poems are torqued into new shapes. “Except Thou Ravish Me,” reimagines John Donne’s famous “Batter my heart, Three-person’d God” as told from the perspective of a victim of domestic violence. Like Pablo Neruda, Addonizio hears “a swarm of objects that call without being answered”: hospital crash carts, lawn gnomes, Evian bottles, wind-up Christmas creches, edible panties, cracked mirrors. Whether comic, elegiac, or ironic, the poems in Mortal Trash remind us of the beauty and absurdity of our time on earth.
We believe in the one-ton rose
and the displaced toilet equally. Our blues
assume you understand
not much, and try to be alive, just as we do,
and that it may be helpful to hold the hand
of someone as lost as you.
About the Author
Kim Addonizio is the author of eight books of poetry, including the National Book Award finalist Tell Me and the Paterson Poetry Prize–winning Mortal Trash. The recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, among other honors, she lives in Oakland, California.
A brash, irreverent look at the physical and emotional
refuse produced in our self-absorbed
— Washington Post
Only Kim Addonizio could mix Greek myths with psychopharmacology, Dante with a pinging iPhone, heartbreak with plastic pollution, and create a rare cocktail of wit and desire. Mortal Trash offers unparalleled discoveries . . . with humor and grace, soaring from comedy to elegy and back. . . . Stunning.
— San Francisco Chronicle
A set like Mortal Trash, so rare and paradoxical in its despairing frivolity, reasserts the art’s power to create order, and to instill meaning.
— Los Angeles Review of Books
shows how our culture and surroundings will test us again and again.
— Lambda Literary
elegiac, and ironic meditations.
— Brooklyn Magazine