Chorus for the Kill

by Allison Blevins and Joshua Davis
Seven Kitchens Press, 2022
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Poems from Chorus for the Kill were first published in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Inflectionist Review, Tinfish, and elsewhere.

The poems in Chorus for the Kill show what magic a collaboration between two poets can achieve. Poem after poem pushes the heart into new “aches of moonlight” and into the offerings of “foppish boys.” Childhood and family; silence and union blend thematically, tipping their hats to the complexity of loving through and against the disasters of belonging to one another as speaker after speaker root themselves to one another. This collection, “the sound of voices two,” swells with longing for the healing achieved when we expose ourselves radically, fully to each other. As I return to Chorus for the Kill, to this love letter testament in two voices so entwined, I can’t tell which rapturous poet is melody and which voice is harmony.

 —Rajiv Mohabir, author of Cutlish and Antiman: A Hybrid Memoir

 

Risky by design—collaborative writing—and by subject—family disaster, queer love, raising children, the ache of history—these poems bring lyric intensity to the peril of being alive. “The sleeper’s kiss, the witch knows, waits soft and easy as a thief, as fire.” A gorgeous weave of contrapuntal language, memory, image, their words reverberate like “thunderstruck glass,” Blevins and Davis make sweet painful chords to hold the necessity of bravery. They “knot a prayer” of hope for this calamitous world. Ekphrastic poems, erasures, songs, chants create a longed-for ark. All enchanted this reader.

—Beverly Burch, author of Latter Days of Eve

 

A visceral collection that praises body as presence and absence alike. In an explosion of the senses, these poems negotiate space to bloom and grow, making good use of form—sonnet, persona poetry, erasure—to complement the vulnerable content: “I want the bullets, the tang of every touch yet to be lost, the buzz and sting of a spring that never awakens.” The poems beg for an answer in our continual searching to engage with the personal narratives and the outside world, exploring one’s relationship with the self and the relational depths. 

—Clara Burghelea, author of The Flavor of The Other and Praise the Unburied