Holding Not Having, by Robin Messing

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Holding Not Having, by Robin Messing

$12.00

“Imagine your limp is the truth / trying to sing. // Imagine that fear is the wilderness / that knows all your beautiful names.”  Holding Not Having is novelist and Rough Magic singer Robin Messing’s tour-de-force poem cycle of loss and healing.

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It was self exile, both feet
hidden under suitcases. It was
darkness and the sound
 
of sticks rubbing for fire.
It was wilderness, not a graveyard,
the longing for a kiss in a dream.

The seven-page eponymous opening poem in Robin Messing’s gentle and fierce new collection is an elegaic walk across a dreamscape of family, love, and loss, where you find

a naked sister leaking perfume, her sweetness
a funeral, her songs like dress-up with spiky
high heels. You hold tightly knowing her arms
 
are broken, her dress smudged with lipstick,
her will singular, horrifying, her beauty
one day to be mourned.