The Fix (Iowa Poetry Prize) (Paperback)

By Lisa Wells

University of Iowa Press, 9781609385477, 70pp.

Publication Date: April 15, 2018

Advertisement

Description

Proceeding from H l ne Cixous's charge to "kill the false woman who is preventing the live one from breathing," The Fix forges that woman's reckoning with her violent past, with her sexuality, and with a future unmoored from the trappings of domestic life. These poems of lyric beauty and unflinching candor negotiate the terrain of contradictory desire--often to darkly comedic effect. In encounters with strangers in dive bars and on highway shoulders, and through ekphrastic engagement with visionaries like William Blake, Jos Clemente Orozco, and the Talking Heads, this book seeks the real beneath the dissembling surface. Here, nothing is fixed, but grace arrives by diving into the complicated past in order to find a way to live, now.

"Woman Seated with Thighs Apart"

Often I am permitted to return to this kitchen

tipsy, pinned to the fridge, to the precise

instant the kiss smashed in.

When the jaws of night are grinding

and the double bed is half asleep

the snore beside me syncs

to the traffic light, pulsing red, ragged up

in the linen curtain.

I leak such solicitous sighs

to asphalt, slicked with black ice, high beams speed

over my body whole

while the drugstore weeps its remedy

in strident neon throbs--

I doubt I'll make it out.

It's a cold country. It's the sting of quarantine.

It's my own two hands working

deep inside the sheets.



About the Author

Lisa Wells is a poet and nonfiction writer who lives in Tucson, Arizona. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, the Believer, Denver Quarterly, Rumpus, Third Coast, and the Iowa Review.
Advertisement