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Engulfed by Andalucia: Lisa Marie Basile.

April 19, 2012 \pm\30 11:13 pm

The night I started reading Lisa Marie Basile’s new book of poems, Andalucia, I was supposed to be reading another book of poetry. And by “supposed to be,” I mean that I had told myself I had to read that other book first. But that book was trudge-worthy, and my eyes kept glancing at the fiery cover of Lisa’s book. Finally, I gave in to the pull and cracked it open.


As I read, I found that I’d started to read the poems out loud to myself, in that sort of whisper-talk that is used when you don’t want to draw attention, but want to hear the words.

“I ate my own body

in parlors of no color,

to the bone, to the hooves. I become

so thin I buckle under myself. I am

a mane of white on fire.”

I still haven’t gotten back to the other book, and it’s been two and a half months. But I still find myself opening this book and reading a poem here or there. The poems have no titles, and I imagine someone could read this book as one long poem (I may try that).

Some favorite lines (don’t ask why – I don’t know):

“Time walks up walls on stilts”

“You can bite yourself out of cocoons.”

“I count six thousand lemons in the wet and colorless ground.”`

“Today I almost saw my mother.”

“You might be rid of transgressions/but o, they’re not rid of you.”

I found these to be seductive poems, not in that way, but in that they drew me in and made me wonder about them. For me, that’s what makes a poem interesting to me. Where did that image/idea come from? Why that word? Why break the line there?

The last poem in the book starts “It all felt very normal.” But it does not end that way at all. I’m not sure why, but I will probably keep coming back to this book. It’s one of those kind.


Lisa Marie Basile is a Brooklyn-based poet and writer. She’s the author of the forthcoming “A Decent Voodoo,” (Červená Barva Press, 2012) and a chapbook, “Diorama” (Wisp Press). The Poetry Society of New York will release her chapbook, “Andalusia,” on Brothel Books. She is the founding editor and publisher of Patasola Press and currently reads poetry for Weave Magazine. She performs with the Poetry Brothel as Luna Liprari, and she is a member of the Poetry Society of New York. She is an M.F.A. candidate at The New School. She works for the PEN American Center as the prison writing program coordinator. She studied English Language and Literature at Pace University in Manhattan, where she won several writing awards, including first place in poetry and fiction in 2009.


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