The Soft Life

The Soft Life

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Author: Bridget Talone

Publisher: Wonder (2018)

The poems in Bridget Talone's debut collection mine the boundaries of experience: the amorphous places where dreams, debasement, loss, and connection dissolve and combine. "Belief, like love," she writes, "mattered less once it entered you. In a place I cannot reach. You put your voice inside mine." Here, instability is an occasion for tenderness, a feature of powerlessness, and a site of possibility and transformation. Taking up Alice Notley's question "How much am I my life?" Talone creates a reading of the feminist subject that is both a product of this world and an agent of its dislocation.

As she traces serpentine relations between the ways that language and physicality press into one another, Talone attends to the moments of unexpected pleasure, connection, strangeness, and pain that arise. In its elegant and feeling poems, THE SOFT LIFE wagers that what is unresolved in these encounters will echo forward, and their dissolution might enable a re-making of orders, both personal and political.