Review: The Intimacy Archives

Leigh Anne Hornfeldt
40 pages
6” x 9” perfect-bound trade paperback
ISBN 978–0615887531
First Edition
ELJ Publications
Available here
Review originally published on 3/12/15

The Intimacy Archive by Leigh Anne Hornfeldt is exactly that, an archive of personal feelings and experiences that all of us have felt at one time or another. This collection includes everything from random musings over a cup of tea, to a gritty self-revelation, to a simple, yet beautiful, message to a friend. Hornfeldt first draws your intrigue with her poem, “In Its Entire Life a Bee Will Only Make One Teaspoon of Honey,” before taking you on a series of emotional waves as the book continues, each one deeper than the last. At the height of her collection is one of my favorites, which includes this excerpt:

Go on then. Tell her about compulsion
and how you don’t know why
you do the things you do then tell her
the things you do know:
because you can’t breathe,
because all your instinct knows
is to grab at anyone solid enough
to bear you.
(from “3 a.m. Conversation with the Lady in the Carousel Music Box,” p. 19–20)

Hornfeldt’s poems lead you through a maze where the closer you become with someone, the easier it is to see the potential different degrees of separation. Being close makes you incredibly aware of being alone, and being alone makes you incredibly aware of how much you want to be close. These are the poems you should read to remind yourself to be aware of what you feel throughout your day-to-day routine.