Ciento by Lorna Dee Cervantes

100 x 100 word love poems


The book, I’m guessing, chapbook, rather evocative premise — and it delivers as promised — 100 100-word poems about love. Whenever I read Lorna Dee’s work, I am reminded of a short passage from Marge Piercy, something about, “… men who don’t think slicing vegetables makes their penis smaller…” Might have that misquoted, but the sentiment is there.

It’s — the first word that came to mind? “Dirty.” More like, “Dirty little poems,” but not dirty in its sense of obscene, or even frankly sexual, although, there is that. It’s, dirty, in a playful sense. Almost nasty, but not quite.

The language is stripped away, bare, soft, sensuous, hard-edged, sexy, and occasionally brilliant, always stunning. There’s always that playful sense of sin, close, but not quite.

Beautiful poems. I dip into them, read a couple,
leave the book on the table.
Lunch time, I pick another at random,
read two or three.

From Wings Press, considered Native American and Latina Literature.