"The Other Lover" is a collection of bittersweet American love poems. Writing with jazz-like verbal panache, Bruce Smith reaches for the paradoxical pulls between sweetness and bitterness. With carefully crafted rhyming stanzas and unpredictable free verse rhythms, these poems bristle and pop like riffs of a virtuoso hornplayer. The book is a personal, passionate, disturbing collection that places the reader both inside and outside the poet's life. Deftly filtering personal experiences through improvisatory structures and a wide range of idioms, Smith communicates the want, the lack, the desire for what is missing, the sweetness of absence and pain. The pleasure of "The Other Lover" is in the imagination's dance in the erotic spaces between the poet and the reader. Ill.