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Recommended Reading: Fiddle is Flood by Lauren Gordon

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Recommended Reading is a semi-regular feature wherein Sarah and/or Jeff recommend something to read. We'll be sharing poems, stories, essay and texty bits that defy categorization--the kinds of things you won't find in a Barnes and Noble.

What: Fiddle is Flood, a chapbook of poems by Lauren Gordon

Wait, what? What's a chapbook? A chapbook is a slim little book, often handmade, that's one-third to one-half the length of a full-length book. In addition to their small physical size, chapbooks tend to be thematically tighter than longer books. Read more about what a chapbook is here

Recommended For: Anyone who loved Little House on the Prairie; anyone who hated Little House on the Prairie. Also note: we recommend this book for high school students, as it tackles sex and death head on. 

Why We Like It: Fiddle is Flood takes the sanitized universe of Little House on the Prairie and reinserts what Laura Ingalls Wilder (and her daughter-cum-editor Rose Wilder Lane) left out--you know, the hard stuff about growing up and being a pioneer. In Lauren Gordon's own words, "these poems explore identity, gender, grief, sexuality, and oppression against the context of American history, ghost-writing, and young, female literature." Like the best poems, they take a world you thought you had under control and make it wild and disturbing and alive. Check out this poem about killing a pig:

The Pig’s Death Squeal

makes us squirm
and cling under
the muslin sheets

we ate his brains
blew his bladder
to a balloon kiss

Pa lets little girls
eat the curly
curly tails

all good dogs
get their reward
and young ladies

get theirs, too
because sap
runs greener

where the sun sets
Jack, friend, fiend
running and green

(poem reprinted with permission of the poet. originally published in Luna Luna Magazine.)

Read More: Buy a copy here. Read more of the poems here and here and here.

More About the Author: Visit Lauren Gordon on the web here