POETRY

Hothouse

Sarabande. Jun. 2017. 80p. ISBN 9781941411452. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781941411469. POETRY
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McGlynn divides this follow-up to her debut, I Have To Go Back To 1994 and Kill a Girl, into sections that don't so much represent rooms in a house as aspects of her life—and ours. It's ingenious, and it pretty much works. The poems in the tone-setting "Bedroom" grapple with the anxieties of intimacy: "because they say love they think they can't hurt you." "Library" limns the demands of creativity: "How many times can we fold the same bone." "Parlor" moves into the public sphere—what precedes "Bedroom"—in a series of hungry poems topped by "Last Girl on the Floor": "If she dances alone in her kitchen at night, maybe she's afraid/ there are men with guns/ out there in the dark/ looking into her bright fishbowl." Despite the drinking, the true subject of "Wet Bar" is reckless behavior: "Maybe I threw a lamp at your head,/ but you're the one who broke it./ You could have ducked." "Bath" gets down to elementals and "Basement" our subterranean desires and physicality.
VERDICT Smart, original, spirited work.

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