Broadax by Amy Lawless
Octopus Books, 2017
From the publisher: How do you find your life in the fucked up world? In her essay “The Death of the Moth,” Annie Dillard writes “you can’t be anything else. You must go at your life with a broadax.” In her book, BROADAX, Amy Lawless goes at her life in attempt to understand the pain, to understand how to live in this fucked up world. BROADAX begins in the guileless moments of the poet’s childhood and constellates outward, only to return to the same life through adult eyes. After absorbing intimacies in time spent with youth, friends, family, and lovers, witnessing violences like the Oklahoma City bombing in the media, Lawless reflects her sense with the help of The Incredible Hulk, Prince, Žižek, Mishima, and especially her family. When you stub your toe, there is only one word that does the trick. That word is lens, shell, and salve.