Blood Makes Me Faint but I Go for It
Author: Natalie Lyalin
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2014)
Natalie Lyalin’s second book of poems concerns itself with the process of geographic and familial dislocation. The poems move from village to city to a window from which the speaker witnesses brief atrocities and occasional delights: A peasant starts a revolution; a neighbor abuses his wife. Space and time are folded and refolded, and time travel is possible. Generations are gathered across oceans and continents. Their stories are braided together, slightly exalted, somewhat mourned in a kind of melancholia. Lyalin attempts a beautification of brutality that is only possible in retrospect.
"Thank goodness it is time to hear more from the spectacular Natalie Lyalin! Whether they threaten or offer tenderness, her poems declare themselves in strange, flat phrases, as if unaware of how much beauty and destruction they contain, until some moment of recognition occurs and they suddenly must exclaim 'Coffins are so tiny after dark!' This book is an unpredictable delight, written in the fantastic English of a poet who can see the language for all its gaps and glamour. You are going to love having these words in your head."
"You don’t have a time machine? You’re in luck—like a weird kid in the woods trying to build a spaceship, Natalie Lyalin has created something beautiful, messy, and magical. This book is your time machine. Get in and travel to another world which is like this world, only here it’s dirty, tragic, funny, strange, mundane, eerie, ecstatic, familiar, and a little dangerous. Being inside these poems is like living with a few added dimensions: the one where you grow wings in the kitchen, or where language is a hammer you break in case of emergency—and there is always an emergency. In Lyalin's work, survival is at hand: sometimes it’s history, sometimes it's your self, and sometimes it’s just a time and place to wear sexy gold fangs in a lemon orchard and chase you around the trees."