tall-lighthouse, 2006 - £2.50
Dare you to what? Read these poems? Write them? Publish them? No problem, go ahead, why not?
This little chapbook, sixteen poems with a nearly blank cover, title, poet’s name and a small picture of a woman, pudenda clearly showing, clutching a cushion which might be her heart, makes no bones about being a volume of poems of lesbian love.
There is an epigraph: “Love me till you break/ till you smash in smithereens/ I dare you.” I am not sure whether this is a quotation (which I obviously do not recognise) or another small poem. Does it matter? No. This collection is about love, physical love. The poems, although they are addressed to a woman by a woman, have an intensity and directness which can apply equally to heterosexual love. Take, for example, the first poem, ‘The Bottom’:
Let your heart go
over the precipice
on the bungee cord of your soul
It will crash against the rocks
on its way to the bottom
where it can just be
still, pulsing, loving
Then there’s ‘You Came With Your Husband’. Read without the title, the sex of neither the writer nor the object of desire is specified. It’s a love poem, pure and simple. As are the others.
If the occasional outright reference to lesbian sex offends you, then this is not the book for you, but if you like poems about passion, naked and vulnerable in their intensity, it most certainly is.
Yes, read it. There is a lot to ponder, to enjoy. Go on, I dare you.