About the Book
Often, the fact of being an individual can seem wildly at odds with the experience of containing multitudes. In Luxury, Blue Lace, S. Brook Corfman takes the reader through this complicated experience of selfhood and its multitudes, exploring the many overlapping identities a single person can contain. Corfman’s poems conjure a host of identities and selves both living and dead, gesturing towards the complex way memory and loss can inhabit us. Formed by experience, history, and the strictures of gender, the poems dwell on the challenges of fully knowing and understanding the diverse parts of a subject. While they seek out a full form for the individual, they also relish the complex multiplicity of the identities that arise through self-exploration and self-knowledge.
Praise for Luxury, Blue Lace
To choose a form—a genre, a gender—is an intentional act of manifestation. To refuse the restrictions of a form—a genre, a gender—is an act of rebellion, if not outright war. In Luxury, Blue Lace, a multivocal mix of poetry and prose poem, S. Brook Corfman examines the ways that presentation and representation conflate and complicate. Expansive, generous, deeply considered, and highly lyric, this book, with its transformations and overlaps, astounds.
In S. Brook Corfman’s Luxury, Blue Lace, the unreconciled subjectivity—the unintegrated self—yearns for wholeness, for self-creation: “I started thinking about the thing I made when I thought I was making myself.” The poems linger beautifully on these delicate, precise precipices of knowing and unknowing, and the wet mouth of the desire to remake, never tipping over into folly or disarray. Instead, they are graceful. And so tender. As if holding one’s own self in a cradle. Think of Susan Howe’s “curved, odd, indefinite, irregular, feminine language,” or, in Corfman’s words, “a deeply textured skin,” and you’ll get close to knowing the sensate world of these ravishing poems in Luxury, Blue Lace.
—Dawn Lundy Martin
“What does it take // to know yourself,” asks S. Brook Corfman in this stunning, canny debut, “A narrative? A losing // of some things so that others // might be legible?” In other words, Luxury, Blue Lace fixates on the self out-of-sequence, that belies sequence, but that yearns, anyhow, to be known. As such, it enacts a queer kind of recovery, mining the past for what glimmers, half-submerged, in order to glimpse future possibility. At once luxuriously lyric and theoretically rich, attuned to the heady ambivalence of gender, genre, and time, this book is a guide for all of us who long to, or who must, “Let one word go even as another does not suggest itself.”