Books by Lily Pond

Released: July 1, 2000

"An uneven compendium with abysmal lows, stratospheric highs."
A companion to the earlier Yellow Silk collection (1991) that locates the most erogenous zone well above the belt, this time embracing erotic expression from around the world and arranged in sections labeled by global location ("inside," "outside," "center," "the four directions"). Epigraphs from Samuel Green ("Psalm") and Rumi establish the predominance of the imaginative over the carnal. What follows is sometimes lyrical (Dorianne Laux's "The Orgasms of Organisms," Ikeno Yuri's "The Day of Sin"), sometimes impenetrable ("You drag your sexual entrails to this sacred place—this final place of fury, desire—your tears are nails and paint—abyss of birds—ruined spine leg"—from Carole Maso's World Tonight<\I>). Some of the more earthbound pieces stand out amidst the abundant abstraction. James Dickey's "The Sheep Boy" imagines poignantly the result of man-beast congress. Excerpts from Kenzaburo Oe's 17 & J form an ode to masturbation. Mary Gordon's excerpt from Spending explores how wealth can facilitate the erotic. Ivan Klima's materful tale, "A Baffling Choice," transcends category. The poet W.S. Merwin is represented in prose ("Marietta"), the Haitian Dany Laferri(re writes about a 17-year-old Manhattan girl's sexual awakening in Haiti from the point of view of the girl's mother, an instigator, then accidental witness ("Nice Girls Do It, Too"). Sexuality as an issue is present throughout the collection. Sexuality as erotic behavior is scarce. Read full book review >