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A first review out! From Anthony Rintala at Southern Indiana Review who notes,   What a shock then that Lynnell Edwards has whetted the teeth, oiled the hinge, and freshened the bait, turning rusted, creaking sexual politics into a real legbreaker. In Covet, femininity becomes a masterful force and fragility a pointed threat.  Read the full review here

He excerpts from one of the short sequences in the book, “Instructions for my sons.” The full poem follows:

Instructions for my sons: quit leaving your bikes out at the neighbor’s house

and also propped against the garage door,

scattered in the driveway, the hard frames

screwed into a tangle of spoke and angle;

leaned against the convenience store,

abandoned in the school parking lot,

always unchained, unlocked, unmonitored

while you proceed with other things.

Is it that you don’t care what might

become of them, that you don’t think of their cost,

the effort you took to prime and upgrade

the brakes, the rims, the gears, the shocks?

Or is it that you can’t imagine loss,

any landscape absent

what you love and need?

This world steals.

Its bruising, indiscriminate want robs

the soft places, and wounds. And you —

left with rough sutures, scars,

place that aches in the rain – you

learn to live with what you can’t ever get back,

heart like a broken pedal,

spinning wheel against the sky.

This is one of several poems in an ill-fated “alphabet series.” I never got much past “H’ and though most of the poems didn’t turn out interestingly, I salvaged a few, some of them re-titled, for this collection.

B is for Blind

                                                The fault is in the Quill; I have mended it

                                                 and still it is very much inclined to make blindes

Letter, John Keats to Fanny Brawne, February 1820

O imperfect tool of the ball

and the socket, screwed into darkness

of blind alley, blind corner, over

the shoulder of the blind spot

winking out in the sun.

Is it blind faith in the blind hand

of some game of chance or fate,

the blind trust in a comrade

or thief robbing you blind?

Were you blind and now you see?

Consider Keats, bloom of blood

in his chest widening like a dark pupil,

staring into the mind’s blind eye, then

dipping the pen that blots each letter’s

balloon into blindness: but still

the bright star yet undimmed.

Cherry Keeping Chest, c. 1860

 What some girl kept there: veil

and gloves, silver candlestick,

stitched quilt of ring and ring and ring,

I kept too. But now,

given all away, my hope

alone beats like a wild thing

in a box. And I am

sometimes startled by

its muffled thump and rattle,

sometimes think to check the lock.

watch the trailer for Covet

order from Red Hen Press

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