From Publishers Weekly
The louche, camp iconography of Marianne Faithful's Cigarette (1998) "My name's Petula./ Pompeii's a great place to meet dykes/ and lichen" is carefully focused in Pearlberg's second collection. Yet nature poems form the core of the book, portraying a New Yorker with a complex, emotionally exhausting life (in one poem the city resembles an astonishing array of psychoactive pill bottles) who aspires to Basho's pure barefoot walk among the trees. There's a gentle back-and-forth here between the delights of language, the perceiving self and the sublimation of both: "that's the story of spring,/ & it's not `about' anything/ any more than Brooklyn is,/ though spring makes me/ think of croaking / there were, after all, toads in the garden on Bergen Street." By this light, two female bodies together are seen as just abstracted shapes reflected in a bottle, and the breakup poems here, sensually written, struggle valiantly and wittily to see the loved as not the desired but as a subject with its own separate agenda. Broad-stroke political poems ("Commerce is a potent aphrodisiac") convey palpable anger, while series of ingeniously side-by-side double sonnets reimagine the life and mind of St. Francis. Although perhaps not as selfless as that nature-loving saint, Pearlberg is a generous poet, and the best of these poems locate the reader in the natural world she adores, mourns and hopes for. (May)Forecast: Pearlberg edited the disarming anthology Queer Dog: homo/pup/poetry (which remains a solid-selling gift book), and won a Lambda literary award for Cigarette. Painted Leaf (www.paintedleaf.com) is a five-year old New York publisher of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, with a "focus on Latino, gay and lesbian, psychology, politics, debut fiction and bilingual books." Gay and lesbian buyers and reviewers will find this book; well-deserved review attention in the independent press would garner Pearlberg a further audience.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"Pearlberg is a generous poet, and the best of these poems locate the reader in the natural world she adores, mourns, and hopes for."—Publishers Weekly
"A fierce and fabulous volume . . . that cements Pearlberg’s reputation as one of the most exciting poets on the scene today."—Lambda Book Report
"Playful, contemplative, brash, quiet, and sure, these poems use sumptuous language and form to transcend conventional notions of queerness, identity, devotion, and place. The power of Mr. Bluebird is its undertow of raw verve that hits hard and hits true, illuminating the stuff our culture overlooks even as it lies in plain sight."—Justin Chin, author of Harmless Medicine and Burden of Ashes
"Read Mr. Bluebird under a tree in the park, with your dog’s head in your lap, and remember what it’s like to be human again."— Rafael Campo, author of What the Body Told and Diva
--This text refers to an alternate