Paint the Window Open
DescriptionThere are few poets who have such accurate insight into one's emotional interior life as Mary Paulson, in her debut chapbook. Her work treads a tightrope - at once interrogating both the human heart and exploring the crevices of the brain and its deep complexities. Each poem delves into the work's ultimate purpose: to investigate what it is that drives our decisions, the ways we often trip often over ourselves in an ardent, honest pursuit toward love, and how crazy, unforeseen circumstances unravel in that process.
Courtney King Kampa
"There has to be room for / all of it," Mary Paulson writes in "Ars Poetica," and Paint the Window Open is remarkable in its capacity. With razorblade wit, these poems lay bare the contradictory multitudes our intimate lives contain. Here is a voice that can say "I'm vile" and mean it. And in the next breath can say "I'm human, / luminous, / a flash like a firefly" - and mean that just as much. It's a voice crackling with hunger - the hunger for love and meaning; the hunger of kerosene for fire; the hunger to be free from too many hungry ghosts. And yet, in all this yearning there's triumph too: these poems are so funny, so sorrowful, so fiercely alive that I find myself coming back to them again and again and finding something new each time. This is a truly beautiful book.
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