The book is divided into three sections, "Our Rascal Asses," "Unsweet and Looking for a Fix," and "Burgers and Pitchforks," each beginning with a conversation involving The Man with the Pretty Chin, The Smitten Girl, and The Heart Specter. In the final section, The Heart Specter says, "You a(re des)pair that's lost it's (s)mitten," and I enjoyed these lines with double meanings.
Your Ten Favorite Words is mainly about relationships between men and women. Some of the poems seem clumsy, like relationships often are, while others are more sexual or sensual. Almost all of them left me scratching my head. While I was able to pull out lines and stanzas that made sense to me, I don't think I could take any one poem as a whole and say I "got" it. For instance, in "What Doesn't Do," Livingston writes:
Trolls took my terry clots and I don't like to drive when a long poem kicks me in the shiver chambers making me hallucinate experts and loving Shiva. Am I the flesh that's lost her way? (page 22)In other poems, Livingston takes feelings I am familiar with and throws in some weird imagery, like in "Clutch."
Who wants this boxcar waiting,Overall, I liked Your Ten Favorite Words, and as I look through the poems again to write my thoughts, I'm finding things I didn't find before. I think it's one of those poetry collections you have to read over and over to truly appreciate.
these cardboard tubes?
I think everyone wants each other's
arms, those error-filled limbs
flailing everywhere but around us.
They pull you in just so
they can shove you away.
There's something to be said for that
whopping one person and it's not
chopped liver or potato salad or lemon
asparagus. (page 36)
Disclosure: I borrowed Your Ten Favorite Words from Serena, whose collection of poetry books is far more extensive than mine. I am an Amazon affiliate.
© 2010, Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or reproduce content without permission.