Welcome to the second edition of Tightrope Teaser Tuesday, where we give our readers the briefest of glimpses – teases, if you will – into our new, backlist, and forthcoming books. This week we’re excerpting Little Venus, a poetry collection by Carla Drysdale available in October 2009.
Carla Drysdale’s poems in Little Venus challenge the reader, tackling the hard subjects of child abuse, sexual exploitation and the failure of some families. The character of Little Venus runs through the poems burning with rage and want in an incendiary chant that the reader can’t ignore. Little Venus is a haunting collection that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned. Early readers have called the poems in Little Venus “relentlessly truth-telling,” “vulnerable and furious,” and “unflinching.”
Carla Drysdale lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with her husband and two sons, where she is a news editor for World Radio Switzerland. You can find her poetry blog at http://allbornperfect.blogspot.com/.
Enjoy “House,” the opening poem from Little Venus.
Ranch style homes squat
along Rural Route 4,
their view of the horizon broken
by a ten-year-old girl, not wanting to go home.
Every seven steps white line repeats
then breaks off to grey.
Plush waves of rye wheat
undulate beneath an orange sky,
pressing her down.
This is her house
once a muddy hole in the ground
holding the family’s amazement
as it sprang, Beam upon Beam
into a place to sleep and eat.
Scent of sawdust and new carpet
when they moved in.
In a few moments, she’ll
discover her mother’s body
rolling from couch to floor
as Bob Dylan sings on the stereo.
The girl’s pulse pumps her through
screen door to bring back help.
Her mother will be carried away,
hands waving, in a haze
of valium and vodka, lying
on an ambulance bed. Life saved.