Glori Simmons

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These poems traverse the realms of art, history, horticulture, and medicine, excavating our sensual world to find meaning.



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These poems traverse the realms of art, history, horticulture, and medicine, excavating our sensual world to find meaning. From Eve’s out-held hand to Madame Roentgen’s ring-clad hand x-ray, these poems seek understanding through the senses and preservation through the witnessing of small acts. The poet’s ability to enter into the experience of others than herself, and to identify interesting and unjustly neglected lives, gives these poems a rich sense of perspective and a broad appeal.

Simmons investigates the mixed messages and misunderstandings that occur along the frayed borders where rural and urban, innocence and sexuality, Eastern and Western culture, art and life, history and interpretation meet.

I found much to admire in the language of the poems which was at once tender and attentive, and vigorously surprising—dense, worked, and sensual.… The language, like the subjects themselves, seems deeply concerned with tactility and texture, and like the poems’ subjects, is pleasingly ambitious and surprising.

—Lynne McMahon

Her poems go beneath the surfaces of things—a hand, a cloud of sperm, the remains of a victim of Vesuvius, a posed portrait at a county fair—to see things anew. Simmons can turn the same exacting eye from objects to personal experience, opening up the self and its past for reflective inspection. Graft travels a double trajectory—outward from self to landscape to history, inward from apparent surface to occluded interior—a journey for which the body is both vehicle and much-questioned destination. In this book, “Love is pure science,” the world stripped bare is radiant, and rebuilds itself.

—Reginald Shepherd





Part I
Autogeography, Sonogram Study
It Was the Time of Waterbeds
Sometimes Our Lovers Come Back to Us
The Woman Smoothing Her Son's Bangs
Poor Leda
Western Divide
Against Nature

Part II: The Bookbinder
Worn Jacket & Levant
Self-Portrait of a Mate
Onion Skin & Spine
Manifesto for the Hands
Body Valise

Part III
Time Capsule
Our Butoh
Foul, 600
Rehearsing Death
Clouds, 1677
The Lady of Oplontis Receives a CAT Scan
Quick, 1821
The Virgins of Murano
Lot, 2003
Leuna Fields
Hand Mit Ringen

Notes & Attributions

About the Author


Glori Simmons is the recipient of several poetry prizes including the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award and Lucille Medwick Memorial Award. Her poetry has been published in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Quarterly West, and Black Warrior Review, among others. Originally from the Northwest, she currently lives in San Francisco.

Visit Glori's website.


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