Here’s a chance to win a copy of Maureen Thorson’s Applies to Oranges, which is one of the top five most beautiful books of 2011. No doy, it comes from Ugly Duckling Presse so that means it’s impeccably designed and intentionally detailed: good paper, letterpress cover, set in a typeface I hadn’t heard of (Bembo). But I don’t let that overshadow the poetry, which I first read and thought, “Damn, these are consistent.” They are the melt-in-your-mouth variety. You read one in a comfy chair after work and let it mellow. There’s an orange in every poem, and every poem is about 15 lines long and just one stanza. Earlier I thought the poems were quiet, but reading the book again now I realize no not quiet, tense. For instance, this sartorial sorrow:
If we had lived a hundred years, I’d say
give me washed leather, milliners’ pins,
Battenburg lace looped in orange silk.
Let me learn the politics of exclusion–
six hundred threads to the inch. In place
of island chic, a native’s pretend servility,
I’d dress to show that sorrow can harden
into a surface more starched than any collar,
more formal than the pleats of a skirt
as its hem dusts a dim corridor. It sets.
It makes creases I’ll never press out. READ MORE >