$16.95, 6 x 9″, 88 pgs, perfect bound
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Pomegranate-Eater’s “radiant host” lives where fecundity meets decay, where the orderly Victorian garden explodes in wild tendrils. The “feast of ingathering” Borsuk spreads before the reader is a harvest at once decadent and cannibalistic: the fruit “explodes overripe, then rots” in our mouths. These rich and densely-layered confections invite us to devour self after self as the text’s shifting speaker builds and rebuilds an identity in language. Through prose poems interrogating the self in the guise of various fruit, epistles obliquely addressing a shadow lover, and dense lexical tapestries whose words seem to point only away from meaning and toward one another, Borsuk lets language speak, directing our gaze at its shimmering surfaces. This book of metamorphoses delights in puns, anagrams, etymologies, and homologies that freight each line with a surfeit of sound and sense. As the “I” of the book slips from speaker to speaker, “shifts a hip,” and draws attention to itself, it also acknowledges its failure to “speak plain.” Rather than attempting to cohere, Borsuk’s speakers acknowledge their own failings, their shame, and their need for a “thicker skin.” When identity arises in relation to others, how does one become self-possessed? these poems ask. And should one?