THE DAGGER BETWEEN HER TEETH
It features burning barns, drunken Christmases, scars, hospitals, serial killers, and, eventually, the possibilities of self-preservation and hope. Powerfully topical, it confronts notions of violence, both physical and emotional, by focusing on a woman’s strength of will and capacity for ferocity. In The Dagger Between Her Teeth, I resurrect and reinvent the dramatic young lives of two eighteenth-century pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
Alive with the golden age of piracy but infused with the pulse of now, these poems shed more blood than a Tarantino flick. The poems aim to provoke, with theatrical plundering, creative cross-dressing, and vicious vengeance: “Disdain reddens my blood — I / know well I killed / my own husband and took / his clothes to be out here.” Still other poems examine the conflicting mythologies of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, who was evicted from Eden for her sexual aggression. Disputed and co-opted, Lilith has been blamed for a vast array of “deviance,” as well as for miscarriages, wet dreams, nightmares in children, and lustful women — these poems explore the more ominous elements of her mythology. But there is also a part of The Dagger Between Her Teeth that is informed by more personal experience, from disrupted family dynamics to the failure of romance: “You’re not as fragile as you think you are; / I know you didn’t snap / any of those feathered necks / yourself. It’s all just tapeloops / and backward masking, take-out / wings and old Talking Heads albums.”
“LoveGrove goes for the jugular. There is no question…Yes, the dagger between her teeth is sharp indeed.” – Word. September, 2002
“Some of these poems are outstanding…” – The Danforth Review, 2003