cover of book

Can I Finish, Please?
by Catherine Bowman
Four Way Books, 2016
Paper: 978-1-935536-66-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3552.O87555A6 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

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.

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