Bedroom reading sleepwalks
by Brittney Althouse
Teethmarks lacking bite
I know what most of you think of when you hear the term “erotic poetry.” Forget that for a moment. This isn’t porn. Teethmarks, by Sina Queyras, doesn’t describe varied sex acts being played out in any great detail, you aren’t walked through great love scenes the author has experienced, and this probably isn’t the kind of dirty poetry you write inside of a Valentine’s card to your lover. That isn’t to say this isn’t a good read, but it wasn’t the best I’ve read though.
Queyras has a way of forcing you to visualize the scenes that fold out with minimal words and an original and sometimes difficult to read form. Her words jump across the pages at times with no boundaries or rules to adhere to. This makes it difficult to read sometimes when you aren’t quite sure what she’s trying to tell you.
With some of the poems I had a lot of trouble understanding what she was trying to describe. It was like she threw together a handful of random words in an attempt to seem edgy and profound. Needless to say, this didn’t always work. Some of her poems were precise and to the point, while others were vague and possibly misinterpreted.
The poems aren’t about blatant sex and dirty words all of the time. I’m not even sure why it’s being called erotic poetry. It’s more of a collection of poems and random thoughts of the seedier side of life. I’m not trying to say I actually know erotic poetry when I see it, but this really wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.
Mind you, I do suggest you read the poem Teethmarks for a slightly amusing graphic bit about Barbie and Ken doing something naughty on the green shag carpet. I found most of the poems, at least the ones I could read, enjoyable in a non-perverse kind of way, but her lack of consistency and poor detailing in others really took away from that. At times I felt like she wasn’t really all that great of a poet.
Reading Teethmarks was fine, and sometimes interesting, but I wouldn’t pay money for it. I wouldn’t suggest that you do either. Unless you’re a real big fan of this kind of poetry, then maybe this would be a nice addition to your collection.
If you’re not, then you probably won’t get what she’s trying to say. I keep hearing about her previous book Slip which was hailed as “2002s sexiest book of poetry” by Tanis McDonald of Prairie Fire. With that in mind, I would have expected something more. I don’t know, maybe I missed something and the book is really something special. I just wouldn’t waste my money.