October 3, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Book Review: flinch & air by Laura Jane Lee

1 min read

Daryl Li reviews Laura Jane Lee’s flinch and air (Out-spoken Press, 2021) and shares his refractions stating how this collection reaches beyond romantic love.

  • Out-Spoken Press
  • 49 pages

These are poems of love. In Laura Jane Lee’s flinch & air, we see the different aspects of romantic love. We find its sensuality in the titular poem, and its delicateness in “tomorrow, and, and”, which quivers with the trace of possibility, in “waltzing eye” and “stepping shadows”. We read its playfulness in the fluctuations of poetic form, in pieces such as “drawn downwards”, written as a palindrome. We even find the follies of romance, such as in “the days of the dog”: “[…] and still thought you would be/in love with him always”, he who “deserved not only to be forgiven but to be/cherished tenderly and let walk all/over you.”

But flinch & air reaches beyond romantic love. For instance, it also describes the love of mothers, sisters, and daughters. Lee finds gentleness in describing her mother in “the heart of the matter”, the weight of familial love in “tears”, and the force of grief in “wee darling”. In the pamphlet’s second section, “我 ngo”, the poet engages with the capacity and courage to love the self.

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