Publication Date: 15-Aug-12 | ISBN: 9781844719099 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 108pp | Format: Paperback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
Martinis and fantastic breasts. A wild wedding hangover. Pink angora and instructing six women / to write tercets on snow. In lesbian love-poems, conversations, intimate jokes from a hundred parties, five prisons, and three beloved bars, Jill McDonough's second book tells where we live, and how: each day fresh with the gift of it. Fierce/nose-sting of tears, quick breath out of nowhere.
Often frankly autobiographical, her poems are also peopled with others’ stories. Some are familiar – Cary Grant and Charles Darwin, Sappho and Hildegard von Bingen. Others we come to know: prison inmates Julie and Andrea, friends comforting in kitchens or riotous in the yard, the little Chinese lady from the Lucky Star kiosk. McDonough is honest with them: stitches their actual words into her poems, understands their motives and her own. This poetry is vivid with reality, even where the subjects are pictures: Mary in an illuminated Annunciation suspicious / in her lapis robes, her double chin doubting, perhaps / one eyebrow raised; or a small, unseemly Venus, hair in pearls holding the dead Adonis and furious at death and grief.
Above all there are poems of love and desire – I, Jill McDonough, have something to declare: je t'aime, je t'adore, Josey – ardent, funny, and erotically charged:
For better or worse. For root
canal, for laughing on the high
speed ferry to the cape. My mouth
on your neck, say. My hand on your
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ONE; Annunciation; Breasts Like Martinis; Dear Gaybashers; On Being Asked "What is Poetry?"; Great Day at the Athenaeum; What Washed Ashore; Particular Crimes; The House I Live In; or The Human Body; Poem About the Body; Of Women's Testicles; In Which I Start to Get a Migraine and Think of Hildegard Von Bingen; My History of CPR; This House We Live In; Amos D. Squire, Chief Physician of Sing Sing 1914-1925; Dream Aubade; Husky Boys’ Dickies; Ghazal: Sappho Calls on Aphrodite; Ardent; We're human beings; Monica at DB's Golden Banana; Pikadon; Kanji; The American Museum of Natural History's Charles Darwin Exhibit; Cary Grant; Runaway; Pollard in Nantucket, 1870; The Health Adventure; Transplant; Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny; Preface; An Hour with an Etruscan Sarcophagus; TWO; Three a.m.; Parties; Worth Living; Alleged; Fort Point Crutch; Ghazal for Josey; Brown County Courthouse, Green Bay; What Hell's Really Like; That Other Aubade; Toward a Lawn; How Happiness Works; Women's Prison Every Week; Golden Gate Hank; Heat Shield; THREE; Accident, Mass. Ave.; August; Constantine; Shape of a House; Getting Shot on Your Birthday; Coffee for Everyone; This Is Your Chance; Toddler Christ; Villon's Epitaph; Status; Assignment; Habed; Present; Bartholomeus Breenbergh: Venus Mourning the Death of Adonis; We Hate That Tree; Where You Live; Blackwater; Angela, From Wisconsin; After Hours in the Alembic; Married
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“I am always proud to print Jill McDonough’s poems in my magazine, not only because she is one of the most exciting younger poets writing today, but also because she focuses on things that really matter. Her latest book, Where We Live, shows her working at the height of the powers, in poems that investigate (among other things) how our bodies have occupied the world and how we have occupied our bodies.” —
“Beneath the poker-faced humor and cosmopolitan wit in Jill McDonough’s Where You Live is a profligate mind, urgently intoning her inexhaustible humanity and our not-too-perfect existence. As always with her well-regarded, poetic narratives, the hilarity quotient is high, but also, too, her sense of history and a poignant seeing that makes any reader feel deeper than before, when they first encounter her poems. Each poem evidences a deep ardor for language. She names in her poems and makes a massive sweep and embrace of her large coterie of friends and family, and like Frank O’Hara, ecstatically divines and celebrates kinships until they emerge as a virtual village, a transcription of affections. You, reader, prepare to be embraced. Welcome to the World According to Jill.” —
Pushcart prize winner Jill McDonough’s first book of poems, Habeas Corpus, was published by Salt in 2008. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and Stanford’s Stegner program, she taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program for thirteen years. Her work appears in Slate, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry 2011. She teaches poetry at the University of Massachusetts Boston and directs 24PearlStreet, the online writing program at the Fine Arts Work Center.