What used to be called “the war between the sexes” is now being duked out with great passion and finesse by Reb Livingston in this collection of take-no-prisoners poems. In Your Ten Favorite Words no one is let off the hook, least of all the feisty scribe herself. You know you badly need to read poems in which a 21st century Red Riding Hood declares, “I bide my time sipping seltzer with the/animal meant to gobble Grandma.” You know you cannot live without a book that contains a glacier named “Lucas’s Ejaculation,” section titles like “Our Rascal Asses,” “bitchy, home-wrecking wraiths and dirty, train-hopping banshees” and speakers who make comments such as, “Accept your inner leprosy.” Sassy, freaky, comic, vulnerable, and to use one of her very own neologisms “gleefullized” Reb Livingston’s poems are a shot in the arm and a throb in the brain, a rebellious erotics of language, an irrepressible manifesto of the vagaries of the libido, complete with deep mischievousness and dark misgivings. If you’ve been wondering where poems by the next generation of whip smart, tender/tough women can be found: Eureka! A book full of them is right here.
–Amy Gerstler, author of Ghost Girl, Medicine and Crown of Weeds
Steeped country road, hard pew truck cab tangy twangy half-tuned static yearn, Victoriana clutch, party line spill, burlesqued male beauty tied to the tracks, two-tone tongue-in-cheek cherry-stem chains, long strong looker on, trans-Atlantic crosstown snigger, formal knotless knicker dropped or drooped, mother-poor and father-proof, Reb Livingston writes the griftingest orphan in the chorus line, with a heart of coal and canaries.
–Danielle Pafunda, author of Pretty Young Things and My Zorba
Reb Livingston, a poet of whimsical intelligence and daring grace, writes poems both naughty and nice. With breathy, brisk eroticism and long-lasting passion for the language, these poems dance and sing like a good-sounding drunk. Let them love you and you’ll never get their seedy taste out of your mouth.
–Lorna Dee Cervantes, author of Drive: The First Quartet