Friday, September 12, 2008

Misti Rainwater-Lites The Kitchen is Closed

The Kitchen is Closed
Misti Rainwater-Lites
chapbook review by David McLean
published by and available from

This is one of many books and chapbooks available from the almost irritatingly prolific Misti Rainwater-Lites, and IMHO it is one of the best, by her or anyone. This because she is in the process of perfecting her use of language so that her drunken boasts about being better than Anne Sexton are starting to come true. The control of words is quite astonishing in this collection. And the subject matter is the exigencies of day to day living in a crack whore shack in the face of a hurricane, but it could be heaven and hell and the apocalypse.

Death is my newest distant lover.
I crook my finger. i bite my bottom lip. I wink.
He's leaving me to my bony thorny burn writhe fume
seethe life.
He knows I suck at blowjobs”

The whole voice and persona Misti has developed is very courageous, she takes the small tribulations she experienced, then, in her upbringing in the name of that cannibal suicide visionary Jesus the jerk-off God who defiles so many kids' tiny lives, and, now, in a country where they obviously believe that Jesus is basically OK but abortion and Arabs aren't. In the poem quoted above Misti discusses problems with food account balances and selling baby clothes on Like she says, these poems are about being mad as Howard Hughes without his billions of exculpating pence, about trudging through the sludge of self-loathing.

You need to buy this book if you are, like me, happy to be a-normal, or if you are some normal bastard who wants to congratulate herself on her boring normalcy, or even if you just like poetry. Because Misti is obviously one of the best. Because we are all spiritually bereft; there is no spirit, and Misti's poetry teaches us how to live without it.