Surgical Wing by Kristin Robertson

Surgical Wing is the debut collection from Kristin Robertson, and won the Alice James Poetry Award.  It's absolutely stunning!  As in, I felt stunned while reading some of these pieces.  The voice is strong and the images fresh and clean.  Each section begins with a poem about a clinical trial of a human with wings, a mad medical experiment.  But these and the other poems are beautiful in their madness.  You should seriously buy it here.


From "Clinical Trail: Human with Wings"

What's it like? Not what you think. / It isn't a saturnalia of air and sky-scraped / thrills. Often it's blistering roof shingles. / . . . Today I saw the missing girl. / Her body in the junkyard.  That hushed acreage. / Half underneath an abandoned van, / in a nest of barbed wire. From here / I could have watched her lie in hammocks . . .


From "Rules of Surgery"

Birds imprison themselves inside butterfly conservatories, / and we think it's for watermelon and water. But what if // it's for the mirrors . . . // How else can a bird measure its neon wingspan, see itself / swoop from branch to wrist to a porcelain fruit plate / . . . They live their lives trapped just to prove, // again and again, they're flying.