Terrible Blooms

Copper Canyon. Apr. 2018. 96p. ISBN 9781556595295. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781571319777. POETRY
OrangeReviewStarStein follows up Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, with more rough love. "If you're going to storm,/ I said/ do it harder" opens the collection, and elsewhere the speaker insists, "What's wrong/ with me is you." Kneading dough hurts like a bruise, bombs fall like flowers of ice, a woman "kneels on her pain," and what of life? "It's all born lost/ and we just fetch it for a little while." Yet if these poems are mordant, they're also rich and sensual and glittering, and Stein delivers some bold aperçus: "the ruin I've made is in one piece," says one poem, and elsewhere "I have a turnstile heart."
VERDICT If Stein wants to spin "to lose my bearings," she wants us to spin, too. Excellent poetry.

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