Gut Lust

by Rachel Abramowitz

Winner of the 2019 Burnside Review Chapbook Contest. Selected by Matthew Rohrer.

“Transformations and metamorphoses are everywhere in this collection of poems that is simultaneously serious as a heart attack and playful. I don’t understand exactly what world these poems take place in and that is one of their great strengths—the Real and the Imagined meet up in the smallest things. And who is the speaker? The speaker is a monster; the speaker is dead; the speaker is in the middle of a dream; there is a dream cake I’m pretty interested in too. The voice feels ancient and wise while the poems are sometimes called “Hark, You Fuckheads!”. This juxtaposition of tones is a great pleasure. Dreams are also encountered in ways beyond the typical estrangement they provide; they become just another aspect of the rich, layered reality the poet perceives in every little thing—bees, cats, teacups, and also maces, axes and broadswords populate these multilayered, multi-real poems. These poems owe a huge debt to the past but they are alive right now.”

—Matthew Rohrer



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