The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems is Olena Kalytiak Davis’ first collection in ten years and it is an anarchic delight. Davis writes in (read: against) the traditions of confessional and romantic poetry, often by appropriating their forms (particularly the sonnet) and rhetorical flourishes (she loves the exclamatory “O!”) and smashing them with a ball-peen hammer. She writes often about sex (“god gave us lips and hands and parts / that cannot possibly be saved for prayer. nor by”)—even always making it sexy, unnerving, dangerous, contentious—but it’s the ferocity of her wit and the semantic, syntactic slippages of her poetry that will surprise and excite.
Olena Kalytiak Davis, The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems. Published by Copper Canyon (2014). 110 pages.