On Our Shelves Recently
Not-quite-woman, not-quite-man, not-quite-animal, not-quite-flower: the poems in Can I Finish, Please? are shape-shifting acts, lyric interruptions that crave and resist completion, where the mutable self and the world are made and unmade over and over. These poems explore hungers, from appetite to hedonistic consumption, from prayer to a yearning for generative resolution. An exiled couple remakes a ruined world out of buttons and string; tools give advice on love; a magic walking stick guides a speaker through haunted stone quarries; beds turn into musical instruments; a great antlered deer lives inside a locket; flowers transform into frogs, dogs, hobos in a lecherous garden that howls and laments on the violence we do to each other and the world. Pain and loss are recognized as necessary elements in the making of a self.
About the Author
CATHERINE BOWMAN is the award-winning author of 1-8OO-HOT-RIBS, Rock Farm, Notarikon, and The Plath Cabinet, as well as editor of Word of Mouth: Poems featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Paris Review, the LA Times, and Best American Poetry among other journals. She lives on a farm and teaches literature, writing, and poetry at Indiana University.