by Rachel B. Glaser
Poetry. With a voice as familiar as family, Rachel B. Glaser's second book of poems, HAIRDO, hilariously navigates the daily anxieties and fantasies of the writer's path through her own modern life. Writing through action movies, pornography, chat rooms, photo shoots on train tracks, crushes on teachers, and orchids in grocery stores, the poems in this book present us with emotional souvenirs of a curious and honest life lived. Bursting with Glaser's truly unique heart, her mega-watt wit and insightful eye, HAIRDO is a book you will find yourself reading at 3AM, not able to put it down.
"I love every single piece of art that Rachel Glaser makes. If she dug a hole I would want to spend time in that hole, because I know it would be just as strange, delightful, and intriguing as her linguistic and pictorial creations. Hooray for HAIRDO, and long live this incomparable maker." — Heather Christle
"Rachel Glaser has shown me the paradise of this world with her poems. Every man, woman and the rest of us need to see ourselves as one another, as puddles, horses, as imperfect, and that is the paradise. And all of that is especially here in her newest book with a tremendous passion anyone who ever loved poetry must come back to life to read. If poetry is dead like some sad, weepy critics have declared, then Glaser is the resurrection the weepy along with her dedicated poetry citizens have needed!" —CAConrad
In her second verse collection, poet and fiction writer Glaser (Moods) wryly explores modern metamorphoses, in which one’s smartphone is a “dumb boyfriend” turned mirror, strangers are “half symbol half animal” depending on one’s needs, and the transition into adulthood is achieved by résumé revision and solo trips to the movies. Some of these evolutions are hilariously garbled and surreal, as in the “girl who became a puddle and then a horse.” A high school student has a sudden and profound shift in identity during Spanish class: “Mr Felipé christened me María/ he led me down a flowery path.” Glaser also displays a talent for making the dull banalities of life interesting. In “Deodorants Grow Bored of Their Smell,” the eponymous deodorants “want to run out/ but last forever and slowly lose their minds.” She also has a flair for titles, such as the apt and evocative “Teenage Girls Hot for the Eiffel Tower.” Elsewhere, a former manic pixie dream girl reflects on her lost whimsy: “it was always my birthday/ my hair curled with glee.” In “The World of Manet,” Glaser produces a clever, self-referential poem about another poem that was lost, the replacement rendering the original obsolete. Glaser’s funny, shrewd, and warped perspective makes the book entertaining and its rare moments of real intimacy feel even more significant. (Mar.)