Good Stock Strange Blood by Dawn Lundy Martin

$16.95 Coffee House Press

These are poems about wounds at every stage: the breaking open, the scabbing over, the scar. A menacing stranger (“ever-beckoning, black eyed and grinning”) surfaces throughout the book, haunting and seducing the speaker, stitching together the book’s wide range of forms. Invested in multiple mediums, the poet also includes photographs and excerpts of a libretto (performed at the Whitney Museum for the Yam Collective). These words whip like a live wire.

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“No Humans Involved”

When I was a girl of 9 or 10
anyone could have me
any way they wanted
because speech
closed a blackness
in my throat
so cavernous and loud
the blackness,
a smoke so thick
don’t even think about
the procession on the body
all their maws loaded up.


posted by Gabrielle Bates