Anatomy of Want
Rebel Satori, 2019
Daniel W.K. Lee’s first collection of poetry is a study on desire’s limbs, its breath, its unchecked tendencies on creatures—mortal and divine—who dare to love or be loved. Eros to agape, melancholia to saudade, he finds fruit in these conditions and exposes with carefully selected words and deliberate silence, our hunger.
Daniel Lee’s meticulously crafted poems are, at once, both sultry and elegant. In Anatomy of Want, he charts the trajectories of fulfilled and unfulfilled desires – exploring, along the way, how carnal and spiritual appetites can inform, infuse, and interrogate each other. The book abounds with questions. Some are set in the haunting refrains of ghazals; some playfully presented as a multiple-choice pop quiz. Glowing with wit, insight, and sensuality, this book is sure to make you hungry for more of Daniel’s work. —Elaine Equi, Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems
To be ‘left without’ or to be ‘left desiring’ unlocks the double-edged ‘wanting’ that these poems caress, dissect, flay. Daniel Lee straddles a wide range of rhetorical traditions all the way from Bible to ghazal to the erotocidal. His poems wrestle and flirt, their winged flights of fancy untimely clipped, hitting the ground hard before getting right back up. —Timothy Liu, Of Thee I Sing
Letters sometimes arrive in bits and pieces, secrets unfold over the course of a relationship, understood over the course of a life. Sometimes a talkative person manages to fish out information by seeming to share their own. That is what it is like reading these poems by Daniel W.K. Lee. From the complaints of Lucifer about Gabriel’s arrogance to a playful-but-serious Brazilian jujitsu match between friends, the speakers in this book demand their own due—that their desires and deliriums be taken seriously by God and man. —Kazim Ali, Inquisition