Melissa Broder’s Meat Heart
Don’t believe Melissa Broder when she writes, “I’m afraid / to say anything with heart.” This book is not afraid, as she proves right away and on every page, and that’s why we needed her to make it. A little dark, a little damaged, a little deranged, but definitely not afraid—and never short on the titular organ, which also acts as mouth and mind. The whole book pumps, and I swear some of what’s coming in and out are flashes of light that you can read it by.
Mark Bibbins, author of The Dance of No Hard Feelings
The speaker in Meat Heart is either an old-world witch or a contemporary warlock. That is to say, this speaker-being gallops through time making thrilling observations. There is a focus on meat, blood and food. The poems tear through the reader with a reassuring giggle, yet remain ominous. Broder writes, “I find a thighbone in his mattress / and think of friends gone missing.” She also writers “G-d loves my hair,” so we are reminded not to be overly frightened. To read Meat Heart is to consume, perish, murder, glitter, and prophesize. To say that Broder is fearless is not saying enough.
Natalie Lyalin, author of Pink and Hot Pink Habitat
With her hallmark wit and brilliance, Melissa Broder has followed up her heralded When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother with Meat Heart, a book of poems that is at once apocalyptic, full of sorrow, and packed with images crystalline in their beauty and truth. In these poems, Broder takes us through a world that is both alien and familiar to the world that we already know, a wild landscape where there is “ash fish / and elemental octopi,” where “cornhusk filaments / Still jacket tongues,” and where in a place with “200 flavors of panic/the worst is seeing with no eyes.” All of these freakish things to help us confront the bald fact that we are all just a series of meat hearts ourselves. It is here that Broder shows her generosity as a poet, because she makes us a new world in these poems where we go beyond meat—a world where Broder tells us, “Somewhere I stopped looking for magic.” I guess she found all she needed; this book is full of magic.
Dorothea Lasky, author of Thunderbird