this book will challenge you, char you, change you
the enkindled coal of my tongue is a new poetry chapbook by Elliott batTzedek – a searing, multi-part poem that explores how a sadistic predator breaks a child, and how that child shapes his violence, and her anger, into a tightrope walk between the right to want to hurt and power of refusing to hurt.
Yes, this is a sequence of poems representing child abuse, from the point of view of the deeply traumatized child, girl, woman. But do not expect a conventional narrative. These are poems of shocking cruelty that show how cruelty corrupts its victim, how it twists innocence into its opposite. They are poems that show how sadism works, how sadism hooks itself onto sexuality. These are also poems of formal mastery and even majesty, of pure flaming art, as clear as a stained glass window.
Alicia Ostriker, author of The Book of Seventy
the enkindled coal of my tongue is in production and will be mailed out in mid-January.