Review: Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals

Oct 25, 2016 · 3 min read

Patricia Lockwood
80 pages
6” x 9” Paperback
ISBN 9780143126522
First Edition
Penguin Books
New York City, New York, USA
Available HERE

In her second collection, Patricia Lockwood brings to the table a feast of strangeness, abhorrence, and humor packaged together in such a way, the reader has to take his time to digest each course.

The book opens with poems that almost make you believe Lockwood is trying to distance her words from readers. With titles like “Is Your Country a He or a She in Your Mouth” and “The Whole World Gets Together and Gangbangs a Deer,” it is easy to see how some might turn away before reading on, but that would be a mistake. Lockwood thrives on understatement and dry humor. The strangeness that follows is merely a vehicle to draw the reader closer into the work.

In “Nessie Wants to Watch Herself Doing It,” she uses the mythical Loch Ness Monster to discuss sexuality, spirituality, and free thought:

Lockwood has a devout Twitter following, most would say brought to her in the publication wake of “Rape Joke,” her poignant poem that addresses the absurdity of a joke being made of a heinous crime of both physical and psychological violence. The poem appears a little over midway through the collection to grab the reader’s throat, leaving slight bruising and the inability to speak for a few moments afterward:

The poem “Why Haven’t You Written” keeps to Lockwood’s style of understatement. Near the end of the piece, the speaker addresses the reader — the other half of an ended relationship — directly, displaying a challenging tone, while still reaching for closure:

For me, Lockwood represents what’s to come of poetry. She’s modern in her language, but like all writers, she’s transcribing the same themes and ideas that have been here since we’ve been here.

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

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