It’s hard to say what is most memorable about the poems in these three collections
because it means having to choose between their emotional impact and their marvelous candor,
to say nothing of their literacy, intimacy, humor, and intelligence.
excerpted from orphan: Because we like the maps we take the trips. The car is ready, packed. The adventurer waits patiently. We hug each other, count to 3. I lift. It's got to be one uninterrupted lift from wheelchair to feet. But there's an instant midway, when the adventurer hangs in my arms between rising and falling——his chest tilts forward, his butt juts back, his jeans ride down, his shirt rides up, his belly dangles in the gap—— it isn't dignified. And then we find the click. It's like we're both holding on and both letting go——hallelujah——he's up. On his own two feet. Don't marry him, some good friends said, your life will be so circumscribed. At the top of the lift, we've added a kiss. We'd take the kiss without the lift, but that's not possible. Maybe our kiss is a gentle fuck you to anyone who's watching who thinks our life is less than theirs. Because we like the maps, we take the trips. © 2014 by Jan Heller Levi