Muse, the first full-length collection from poet Susan Aizenberg, brings together poems of personal history, elegy, and the complex lives of artists, writers, and ""ordinary"" people, in an exploration of the relationship between art and life, esthetics and ethics. She is sharp-eyed in purpose, trying to understand ""what love is"" in a continual shifting between loss and knowledge. While ""there is no other world than this one"" for Aizenberg, nevertheless she finds a world of affirmation. Aizenberg sings elegant blues, keeps a perfect balance between elaboration and restraint with formal skill that is both impressive and consoling, reminding us that poetry is a form of intelligence in which music creates a world full of mystery and depth. Cortland, 1970 Always Monday, light October drizzle misting our hair, wet-wool musk of our peacoats. Remember your father's library? Three-for-a-buck novels, all the rosy headlights he could dream, group-gropes he couldn't. Breakfast was beer in a jelly glass. Then the ten-block walk, hardscrabble shacks imploding, to swing shift at Smith Corona. I still have the scar acid etched through my jeans that first night. Peeling them down in the ladies' room, I found a black
Susan Aizenberg is the co-editor (with Erin Belieu) of The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, a contributing editor to the Nebraska Review, and author of a chapbook-length collection of poems, Peru, which appears in Take Three: 2: AGNI New Poets Series. Her poems have appeared and are forthcoming in the Journal, AGNI, Chelsea, Prairie Schooner, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and many other publications. She is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.