Small Crimes by Andrea Jurjevic

Andrea Jurjevic is an Atlanta poet.  She won the 2015 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry for her new book, Small Crimes.  Andrea is a native of Croatia, and some of her poems are set in the Balkan War of the 1990's.  The grit in these lines is hard-earned and well-written.  Andrea manages to retain a humanness and even sexiness in the horror.  This is a good book.  You can buy it here.

 

From "More Ferarum"

People are disappointingly human under the clothes they wear, but in / here, my sweet fickle angel, tricked by the side-casting moonlight // your shoulders turn to feathers through the indoor air.  This / milky light, like latex leaking from opium fruit, pours across your face, // marks your pale chest.

 

From "Small Crimes"

A fence angled like a broken jaw, / mildew on rocks otherwise porcelain-white. // Blackthorns squat and daisies sway, / and the peasant's neck is bowed at the nape, // lined like a riverbed, his soul restored / in heat and salt.  The mountain fakes ascension.

 

From "Peeling an Orange"

As the engine runs, you realize / you were meant to be with her, / at least one warm afternoon. // Like today . . .