poems by Darla Himeles
Praise for Flesh Enough
“When I bleed, / I touch everything,” Darla Himeles teases one conservative cousin, and in poems loving and transgressive, affectionate and angry, she confronts the “annihilation” of creatures small (passenger pigeon) and large (blue whale), including humans (always small), such as Jewish ancestors who inhaled the almond scent of Zyklon B and, more recently, the Black and Native American victims of sustained and authorized violence. “My heart doesn’t ache,” wrote Adrienne Rich; “sometimes though it rages.” In these beautiful and urgent poems, Himeles’ heart rages against our approaching extinctions.
Look at Darla Himeles, there on the razor’s edge of survival as a Jew, note taker of past and future extinctions, a poet fearless of science, unafraid of love or laughter. Listen as she sings love songs to the cephalopod dead, the manatees’ eyes “cataracted by microplastics,” and the Colorado that “forgets it’s a river.” Smile as she imagines T.S. Eliot becoming a blue crab. Meditate with her on our own eyes, possible “reservoirs of the Anthropocene’s / last sunlit hours.” Himeles helps us know our place as specks of a star, kin to all animals, in poems that dance with the pleasure of language.
Whether she is describing the day Adrienne Rich died or how our weeping may sound like mating songs, Darla Himeles captures all that it is to be a poet, today, right now. Her poems have melody & a lilac kind of voice, but what is most striking is how she guides you through our human condition, our place on this earth, & the ways in which we hurt & love. Flesh Enough is a beautiful & important debut.
Himeles uses powerful restraint when interweaving the everyday with unspeakable destruction and the endangerment of both animals and humanity.
—Amy Small McKinney
Where to find Flesh Enough
Whenever possible, support independent book sellers by ordering Flesh Enough through your local bookshop. I especially recommend Big Blue Marble (Philadelphia), Small World Books (Los Angeles), and Blue Hill Books (Blue Hill, Maine).
For a signed/inscribed copy, please say hello at an upcoming reading or use the CONTACT page to inquire about shipping.