by Suzanne Burns
Publication Date: January 2018
Trade Paper; 130 pages; 5-1/4" x 8"
Boys is a 100% true diary, in poems, of the great, and not so great, loves of Suzanne’s life, including the boys she loved in high school who always sat in the back and never raised their hands, that one in college who bought her the This Mortal Coil album so they could dance in his studio apartment as slow as Gothic-ly possible to the song Kangaroo, and the boys she now notices in a mostly non-inappropriate way.
“YOU NEED THIS BOOK: Boys is a territory, an index of curios so fragrant they must be touched until this book resembles pumice in your hands. Curios live: Boys and girls from the rural zones in scabby jean jackets, the battered ones, the ones who drink Capri Sun in angora, the ones on their way elsewhere. The characters we don’t meet are as potent as the ones we do: a lover’s ex-girlfriend with a tattoo on her rear that says USDA Choice, another ex with a ‘catastrophic bikini.’ With brutally elegant verse, Burns condenses the weight of a novel in each poem. Boys follows the narrator through years of pubescent yearning to the muted barbarism of mid-life partnership. But myths don’t die—they propagate. The Earth gives rise to New Boys.” —Jennifer Robin, author of Death Confetti: Pickers, Punks and Transit Ghosts in Portland, Oregon
“Suzanne Burns’ poetry is exquisite in detail, rich in story, and unflinchingly personal. Boys celebrates the sweetness of youth and coming-of-age, but also meditates on the unique nature of small town relationships. This book is a wry yet joyful ode to relationships, yes, with boys, but Burns also writes insightfully about the complex nature of female friendships. Boys is a feast of nostalgic smells, tastes, and sounds; it is both playful and reverent, surprising and comforting. With this collection, Burns captures the human capacity for finding magic in the mundane, and especially within each other.” —Jamie Houghton, author of Burn Site in Bloom