SLAG leaves us with a girl near the horizon, heat rising behind her—a voice like sonic sound waves. She looks dead at you, her mouth shaped like a little O. You blink, and a woman looking like an older version of the girl stands in the girl’s place, heat rising behind her—a voice of sonic sound waves. The woman looks dead at you; her mouth shaped like an O. When you blink again, the girl holds the woman’s hand. The woman looks down on the girl. The girl looks up at the woman. They are not looking at you anymore. Their mouths are closed now. They turn their backs to you, holding hands, and they walk towards the horizon. Their forms surrounded in an orange glow. That’s all they leave you with, as they fade into light. — Curtis L. Crisler
SLAG Available from Main Street Rag Publishing Co.
In SLAG, Leslie Anne Mcilroy is operating on all cylinders. She packs her lines with hard syncopation — sharp, clear physical sensations stacked one on top of the other to create a tough, honest, often unforgiving landscape, a landscape dominated by the body, the human body. SLAG immerses us in the physical world — frank, sometimes brutal — dealing with both damage and survival, where pleasure and pain struggle against each other. These poems remind me of sexy, sassy blue songs amped with defiance and strength. They linger long after the last note.
—Jim Daniels, author of Birthmarks, winner, 2014 Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award
SLAG is a book that dares you to be as honest in reading the poems as the author was in writing them. Nothing timid here — no retreat and no stingy reticence. Both scalding and beautifully considered, these poems move like something in pursuit, running after us. We all know how tempting it is to ignore those cracks in the foundation that refuse to be fixed, but we do so at the risk of falling through and living beneath ourselves. Mcilroy ignores nothing; living beneath, not an option. If life is sometimes hot grease in the face, SLAG holds the poems that still see everything and don’t flinch. — Tim Seibles, author, National Book Award Finalist, Fast Animal
Leslie Anne Mcilroy’s remarkable book is as tough and finely wrought as iron. SLAG is the hard-edged beauty of pool halls, strip clubs and rust, dive bars and miner’s dust. Desire looms large in these poems—these bodies on fire—laced with blood, spit and scars. They meet the most difficult subjects head-on and refuse to flinch: rape, abuse, illness, violence, near-death. But most of all, SLAG is a fiercely dazzling song of survival and strength — “a blessing on your lips you wipe away with a fist.” — Erika Meitner, author of Ideal Cities, winner, 2009 National Poetry Series Competition
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