Poetry. STILL LIFE is a fractured carnival of language, each poem casting a pedophile in a new setting under the inspirited control of objects and expectations as the assaulted speaker of these poems is vicariously vivified and muted by animated memories of the pedophilic act. The poems are linguistically tight, prose-y, and punctuated so that the pedophile feels immediately present and inseparable from the speaker. This is the reality of trauma—time collapses. The past becomes the present so that "the windows // the plaster // the paint // the hard wood floors // the doorways // the beams beneath / above / behind everything" constrict the speaker in a room, long ago, where her body was "bright and bulbing // undercooked // tight as egg" and vulnerable to predatory behavior. While these poems draw attention to the residual effects of childhood trauma that haunt a victim throughout her adult life, they also highlight the pedophile's human bondage, revealing his own psychological entrapment. In this book, psyches are live wired, but every limb remains in its original, violated, place.
Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress, 2021), Parrot Flower (Glass, 2020) and White Goat Black Sheep (FLP, 2018). Winner of the New American Press 2019 Heartland Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in The Berkeley Poetry Review, The Meadow, Moon City Review, and Borderlands.Author City: PITTSBURGH, PA USA