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Dora Malech's FLOURISH

Jane Huffman

Dora Malech has never been afraid of flourish: whip-smart, wind-whipping, hair-raising masterstrokes of language define so many of her poems. (Recall “The Kisser”: “Drew the short straw, scared herself apart / to spit-sweet shards and into time that counted / backwards from two lips ago.”) But in her new book Flourish, Malech produces a subtler vision of her wit and tenor—an orchestra rising from a deeper, darker pit. A line from her poem “Progress” says it best: “Geometry that gestures toward itself / or not at all as in the inward wave / that in one culture simply greets and in / another draws one closer.”

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