Tara Hardy gives you her life’s thesis when she writes, “…my/blood does not make a pity trip.” Indeed, what grips about the poems in Bring Down The Chandeliers (Write Bloody Publishing) is not that she speaks so directly about incest, chronicling the sexual abuse from her father. (In fact, nowhere is the word “abuse” even used in these poems.) Hardy’s gift is her ability to take bravery where it’s never gone before. Like with the admission that thinking of her father “Hardened my nipples with shame.” Or the disturbingly funny line, “What I love about being an incest survivor/are the tourists! The ones who want to know what it’s like/to fuck a girl who actually fucked her father.” Or the poem “Daughter” in which Hardy wants us to know that the abuse “…did not make him powerful or grand./He isn’t somewhere cackling on a distant hill./He is at home, sleeping in a wool cap/on a sinking sofa because he snores/like the train that orphaned him at seven./He is an old man with a garden, pinching/tomato bugs between thumb and forefinger.” Chandeliers is no crumb left over from the crumble. It is a trail leading us to a fearless kind of freedom.
($8.61 at writebloody.com)
This review appears in the Aug/Sept 2012 issue of BUST Magazine with cover girl Tavi Gevinson. Subscribe now.
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