Reviews of Blood
Review by Charlie Newman
In the distance, something leans like a buttress to keep whatever-it-is from falling over like daddy drunk. I don't know what whatever-it-is is but I think I should. I think I own it. So, yeah, I should know.
Bulldozers cut a swathe wide enough for I-don't-know-what and sweaty men dig in the heat, tearing up the backdrop of my world and I don't know why in spite of the fact that, like I said, I think I own it and I think I should know.
Scars are inventoried and surgery goes wrong, and friends and enemies and humans and such are killed like so many insects for no apparent reason other than it was planned by who-knows-who. I stand and stare transfixed, waiting for a bulletin of late-breaking news to clue me in before the next commercial break. I don't think everything will work itself out in the last couple of minutes before the closing credits roll this time.
No...the maniac piano speed silent movie music doesn't sound like it's anywhere near wrapping up yet. And these people. These people wander around like lost snowflakes, ignoring the cunning rhythms of the bulldozers and sweaty men digging. These people whisper quiet booze talk or scream lustful innuendo or fall silent with pain so intense sound can't do it justice. They're all intertwined...winners and losers, violator and violated...rushing to bad ends together.
And—when all is said and done—I can't get the taste of all of this out of my brain. It's like I just rummaged through clammy hearts and mucked about in hidden passions and lost my grip on myself in the process. Too much surgery. Too many funerals. And, still, I want to go back for more. This is what it's like to have read Kristin LaTour's Blood.
Review by Matt Barton
Kristin demonstrates a keen grasp of intimacy, skillfully making use of perspective in order to enlist the empathy of her readers and audiences in an unflinching series of voyeuristic glances. These are claustrophobic glances into uncomfortable corners, where most of us would simply look the other way.
Review by Theodore Deppe
Words, in Kristin LaTour’s new chapbook, are used like a precision instrument in exploratory surgery, like "a needle passed in the flicker of a match flame" to pierce, probe, and investigate. She takes us "to the serrated edge," conducts "An inventory of scars," and refuses to offer false assurances. Always one to push limits, she writes with an unsettling blend of passion, compassion, and sardonic wit. Enjoy!
Review by Anna Leahy
Kristin LaTour’s chapbook, Blood, does not look away; its intense and patient looking transforms even as it authenticates. These are purposefully quiet poems, with a sense of their own forms and a voice that says what it must, and not more. Each poem works on its own terms, exploring the physicality of miscarriage, surgery,
"tearing a fingernail / to the quick," having vital signs measured, and the various kinds of scars we each accumulate.
LaTour’s collection, as a whole, is deft ars poetica that mends hope and hopelessness: "Cutting isn't difficult." and "Prayer heals all things." The reader is led to concur, necessaril y uncomfortably, with the speaker: "In the end, there was no choice." The poems are tenacious and resolute, without ever closing themselves off. Blood is a beautiful chapbook that becomes more than the sum of its parts.
To purchase, contact Kristin.