From the snowy egret to a woman’s floating rib, nudism in America to Holy Communion, Simone de Beauvoir to Nathan’s hot dogs–the subjects in Lucia Perillo’s fourth collection of poetry lift off from surprising places and touch down on new ground
Hers is a vision like no other. In “To My Big Nose,” she muses: “hard to imagine what the world would have looked like / if not seen through your pink shadow. / You who are built from random parts / like a mythical creature–a gryphon or sphinx–.”Fearless, focused, ironic, irreverent, truly and deeply felt, the poems in Luck Is Luck draw upon the circumstances of being a woman, the harsh realities of nature, the comfort of familiar things, and universally recognizable anxieties about faith and grief, love and desire. In “Languedoc,” she writes, “Long ago / I might have been attracted by your tights and pantaloons / but now they just look silly, ditto for your instrument / that looks like a gourd with strings attached / (the problem is always the strings attached).”Perillo’s versions of nature are always unflinching: “Most days back then I would walk by the shrike tree, / a dead hawthorn at the base of a hill. / The shrike had pinned smaller birds on the tree’s black thorns / and the sun had stripped them of their feathers. / . . . well, hard luck is luck, nonetheless. / With a chunk of sky in each eye socket. / And the pierced heart strung up like a pearl.”Down-to-earth, full of playful twists of language, and woven from grand themes in an accessible, appealing way, these poems pierce the heart and delight the mind. Not one word is wasted.