Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gwendolyn Pierce

I won’t say I ever truly loved Steve, but his body certainly paid his rent. I didn’t need the money. It wasn’t ever about that with us. He never mentioned he was a writer, or, if he did, I wasn’t listening at the time. All I remember is that damned guitar of his always falling off the bed, and the way he wore his boxers—so low on the hip.

After reading his work, I can tell you that "low on the hip" is the way Steve wears everything. "Low on the Hip" could have been the title of this book, but it would have been too easy for Steve, and Steve is not an easy man.

If whole phrases could be described in terms of parts of speech, "low on the hip" would simply be an adverb for Steve. It would only describe the way in which he does things. "Newly Wild Hedgehog" would operate more like a proper noun. Or, perhaps, more like a personal pronoun: A monument to the "I" of Steve Subrizi; the statue of Adonis as potent icon to a storied past; and the newly wild hedgehog of my own past, if you will, which has since escaped me, back into the brush.

Steve is the sort of writer who works in déjà vu-inducing glimpses. He speaks in snapshots you see yourself standing in. You desire to be the khakis that Steve sues off of goateed individuals. You can touch the kites, and the cats, and the butterflies, and the glass. You note his face as he "chainsaws the cops," smug with the betrayal of the secrets you’ve divulged to him. You want to kill Sam for being there, but you won’t do it because you realize you aren’t SM (who is SM, Steve?).

As you see yourself in his poems, you’ll begin to wonder which poems Steve sees you in. You’ll think about calling him, but mostly stalk him on Facebook instead. "Who the fuck is SM," you’ll mutter, remembering it doesn’t matter because Steve no longer rents a flat from you. You’ll hear the shower running upstairs and remember it’s almost time to go and collect the rent.


Gwendolyn Pierce is a ghost, a father, and a mother. She owns a two-flat house situated over a spider’s web, where she collects odd souls and lives between harrowing bouts of daylight. When her phone rings, she answers in disappointment regardless of who is calling. She regards the internet in much the way a hunter regards a Bushnell riflescope.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cassandra de Alba

Steve Subrizi has written an excellent little book of poems. I've been a fan of his work for a while, even before our ill-fated romance (c. July-August 2009) [Let's face it, Cass, the sparks were gone on July 5th - Ed.], and Newly Wild Hedgehog showcases his subtlety, wit, and charm--qualities I hope he is also finally honing re: the ladies.

"Check Your Windshield" is probably the best poem I've ever read about someone you love dating someone else, but my favorite moment in the whole thing comes from the prose poem "Migrating to Portland," which also supplies the title: "She had grown seven feet taller and may never have seen me wearing glasses."

If you want some context for that, you should read Steve's book. If you don't, you're a moron, and you should read Steve's book. If you see him give a reading, you should also buy Steve's book. Maybe buy two copies.

Cassandra de Alba is Mexican, Jewish, and very strange. She has used a poem about making out with Steve on Independence Day to win several poetry slams. She lives in Somerville, MA.