The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Fever Dream/Take Heart by Valyntina Grenier

NEROLI

Lost echo
an arching sigh
Segments of citrus
your love is mine
I trace a helix over your sleeping eye
The tips of a trident
lift me
I float on my back
my arms spread wide
as I course out to sea
beseeching Chaos/ infinity
Help me
What is it
The embarrassment
the fulfillment
What
A sinister whorl


In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this selection comes from the book, Fever Dream/Take Heart, available from Cathexis Northwest Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Valyntina Grenier’s FEVER DREAM / TAKE HEARTmarks a poetic “double debut” with a tête-bêche chapbook, two titles bound upside-down with two front covers (featuring paintings by Grenier), which can be read from either side. The poems shape their sense from sound, but do not hesitate to critique/navigate/decipher reality with a feminist protest. Associative and dreamy, the poems also prove to be starkly political. They explore how we are miraculously alive in the midst of degrading political and weather systems. Some of the poems derive their initial lexicon from source texts, but they all confront the tenderness and violence that mark our human natures. With subtle humor, word play, and linguistic inventions, Grenier has written a surprising tour de force whose discrete short books, taken together, range from the sexual and sinister to the prayerful and divine.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about women with a socio-economic disadvantage and the effect of trauma, hearing loss, homelessness, and violence in their lives. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens, The Selkie Literary Magazine, LipServices Miami, Writing Class Radio, and The Cream Literary Alliance. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @nilsawrites.

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