O Body of Bliss, by Janine Certo


“This collection is so damn good I want to quote from every exploration inside every poem: food, family, love, tragedy, humor, religion and death, Certo’s O Body of Bliss possesses an incisive immediacy, replete with surprises, that grabs and won’t let go: ‘Who wasn’t shoved in a room by Boy Who Would Grow Up/To Be Rapist, his hands at work while her friends picked the lock?’ Storyteller and lyric poet all in one, in ‘Ode to the Airbnb,’ she asks: ‘isn’t it/ sacred to be someone else, stepping over/ the threshold into their skin, into the history/ of closets, into the wall spaces between framed/ photos bound in their hall light, their wanderings/ and absences, their quilts and smells, the lives/ of the hearth and the lock on the storage room.’ The range of her conjuring coupled with her linguistic gifts leave me awestruck.” —Roger Weingarten