Saturday, March 17, 2012

LOVE, AN INDEX by Rebecca Lindenberg

From McSweeney's
A man disappears. The woman who loves him is left scarred and haunted. In her fierce debut, Rebecca Lindenberg tells the story in verse—of her passionate relationship with Craig Arnold, a much-respected poet who disappeared in 2009 while hiking a volcano in Japan. Lindenberg's billowing, "I contain multitudes" style lays bare the poet's sadnesses, joys, and longings in poems that are lyric and narrative, plainspoken and musically elaborate. Regarding her role in Arnold's story, Lindenberg writes: "The girl with the ink-stained teeth / knows she's famous / in a tiny, tragic way. / She's not / daft, after all." Then later, of her travels in Italy with the poet: "The carabinieri / wanted to know if there were bears / in our part of America. Yes, we said, / many bears. Man-eating bears? Yes, of course, / many man-eating bears." Every poem in this collection bursts with a unique, soulful voice.