Dark Would (the missing person)

Poems by Liz Waldner


"I can imagine no poetic place more quixotically treacherous than the right brain of a missing person. With nothing to lose and everything to find, Waldner unmuzzles the wild horses and lets them buck. She asks only that her readers hold on for dear life because if they do—and they must!—good lord a flly is boxing with white gloves on the black ground of a photograpsh (sic). Everything requires a sic: The shrimpy girl, the bruised blue of wrong, shifting alphabets, lines linked, language demolished and glued back together before the very eye. Dark Would (the missing person) creates its own keyhole. Dare to peek."
—Maureen Seaton

"Wizards respect, and almost trust, reason. Liz Waldner is a powerful wizard. She conjures an echo chamber of verse, and in it she unslays the dragon with (s)wordplay of every kind. We watch open-mouthed, but especially listen, open-eared, as her sparks flash, as desire rises like moist wind from her 'probably lavender throat,' as she tastes the 'the might/but couldn't . . . bee,' that stinger, in phrases erotic and convolute as seashell."
—Stephanie Strickland

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A philosophical, tough, and often funny inquiry into twenty-first-century selfhood, Liz Waldner's new collection of poems takes shape in the shadow of Dante's "dark wood." Dark Would (the missing person) is quirky. It's audaciously American, out of the Dickinson house. Waldner uses short, quick syntactical units that swerve rather than build up an architecture of ideas through sequential juxtaposition. She also has, like Dickinson, a canny, carnal, specifying diction. Her poems are sonorous, sly, and sexy. They are political in their address of gender through reference to pop songs, poems, and analyses of personal experiences. The resulting wry permutations of will and desire alternately leaf and hew an American "dark wood." The pages and paths turn to and through the kinds of lostness and foundness to which rootlessness gives rise.
Page count: 112 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $19.95

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Liz Waldner is the award-winning author of several books of poetry, including Homing Devices; Self and Simulacra, winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award; A Point Is That Which Has No Part, winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Iowa Poetry Prize; and Etym(bi)ology (forthcoming). She lives in Seattle.