Cover image for The world in us : lesbian and gay poetry of the next wave : an anthology
The world in us : lesbian and gay poetry of the next wave : an anthology
Lassell, Michael, 1947-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxi, 392 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS591.G38 W67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



More than ever before, poetry plays an active role in public consciousness, and the burgeoning queer poetry world is forming a culture of its own. In the first substantial collection of gay/lesbian poetry in over a decade, editors Georgiou and Lassell present significant work by 46 working poets at the height of their creative powers. From major, established poets such as Marilyn Hacker, J.D. McClatchy, Olga Broumas, and Mark Doty, among many others, to emerging artists like Letta Neely, Justin Chin, Mark Wunderlich, Regie Cabico, and more, The World in Us is poetry of the necessary word.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

David Lehman, general editor of the annual Best American Poetry, codirects a poetry reading series with photographer-poet Star Black. The venue is a second-floor Manhattan bar in which one can be heard without using a mike. Despite offering no honorarium, the series has been a big hit. Lehman and Black present one poem each by 75 readers from the first three seasons. Each poem is prefaced by a little biography and frequently postfaced by its author's most unforgettable poetry-reading experience. Reader 76, coeditor Black, indulges herself to the tune of six poems and provides in-performance photos. If the contents include no masterpieces, the range of the contributors, from icons like John Ashbery to Sarah Arvio, who has yet to publish a collection, is most impressive. Many better poems are in editor Prufer's roundup of work by 40 poets less than 40 years old. Usually, there are three to five poems per poet, enough to whet a reader's appetite for more. The sole famous name here is Sherman Alexie, and that is because of his well-received novels. Alexie is typical of many contributors in that he belongs to an ethnic or cultural minority, in his case, American Indian. Black, Latino, Asian, and gay voices resound throughout the book, and Filipino American Nick Carbo, African American Alison Joseph, and Japanese American Rick Noguchi are just three whose work is especially striking. Exceptional, too, are white ethnic Julia Kasdorf's poems piquantly reflecting her heritage as an old order Mennonite. Although there are very few regularly metered and rhymed poems on view, there are so many good poems here, sometimes extracted from less-than-wonderful first or second books, that the future of American poetry looks bright, indeed. In introducing their gay and lesbian anthology, Lassell and Georgiou paraphrase author Joan Nestle to the effect that "as a group, we gay and lesbian people are responsible for having written desire into history." Certainly desire is a concern of a great many poems in the book, and that desire is often enough worked out in the perennial gay contexts of bars, dancing, cruising, etc. At times it seems that this gay and lesbian "next wave," as the book's subtitle calls it, is just another wave of the confessional poetry of the 1950s. Much is adroitly enough written, though, so that the book fittingly complements the KGB Bar and new poets collections in giving a big, though definitely incomplete, sampling of American poetry at the twenty-first century's dawning. --Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

From urban slam-fests to government-sponsored verse on public transportation, poetry seems to be enjoying a renaissance of interest these days, and this collection adds another chorus of powerful voices to the song. A wide variety of form and style is represented, from the hip-hop beat of urban street slang to the steady, studied cadence of more meditative verse. This is poetry that does not flinch from life but rather confronts it head-on. Everything that life is about, love and death, AIDS and lust and yearning, is confronted, distilled, and recorded. Well-known poets such as Olga Broumas, Alfred Corn, Robert Gluck, and Marilyn Hacker appear alongside new names with equally impressive talents. Of course, an anthology is only as good as the editors' choices, and Lassell and Georgiou (both accomplished authors and editors) have chosen uniformly strong writers. Interestingly, the introduction states that several well-known poets declined to have their work included, embarrassed perhaps by the unabashedly gay nature of the anthology. Nevertheless, this is an exciting collection that beautifully describes the vibrant state of contemporary American poetry. Recommended for most collections.--Jeffery Ingram, Newport P.L., OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xv
Whitman on the Beachp. 1
Bluebeardp. 2
Geometry Classp. 3
Mudp. 4
Countingp. 4
From Caritasp. 6
1. Erik Satiep. 6
3. With the clearp. 7
Etymologyp. 8
Trystp. 8
The Masseusep. 9
Landscape with Next of Kinp. 10
Lizziep. 12
Motor Oil Queenp. 13
Check Onep. 15
Mango Poemp. 16
Gameboyp. 17
Antonio Banderas in His Underwearp. 20
Art in Architecturep. 21
Belongingp. 22
From Song for My Loverp. 22
VI. Our Country of Originp. 22
XI. A Medical Student Learns Love and Deathp. 23
From Ten Patients, And Anotherp. 23
IV. Kellyp. 23
VII. Manuelp. 24
XI. Jane Doe #2p. 24
What the Body Toldp. 25
New Song of Solomonp. 26
A Courtesy, a Trenchant Gracep. 27
Marathonp. 29
Beautiful Signorp. 30
Why a Boyp. 32
Cocksucker's Bluesp. 34
Undetectablep. 37
Ex-boyfriends Named Michaelp. 38
I Suckp. 40
I Bought a New Redp. 41
You Know I Like to Bep. 42
I Bring You Greetings: Howp. 43
The Okeydoekey Tribep. 44
Palm Leaf of Mary Magdalenep. 45
Stuckp. 46
Passingp. 47
Make-upp. 48
Vicki and Daphnep. 49
A Poet's Deathp. 50
Marlo Thomas in Seven Parts and Epiloguep. 53
Modern Englishp. 55
Hangoverp. 57
Weight Beltp. 58
After School, Street Football, Eighth Gradep. 61
Teen Idolsp. 62
David Cassidy Thenp. 63
From Some Adventures of John Kennedy Jr.p. 64
In Schoolp. 64
10 Dead Friendsp. 65
Poem for George Milesp. 66
Dreamt Upp. 67
To Hermesp. 68
Kimchee in Worcester (Mass.)p. 68
A Marriage in the Ninetiesp. 69
Long-distance Call to Gregg, Who Lived with AIDS as Long as He Couldp. 72
My Tattoop. 74
Homo Will Not Inheritp. 76
Lilacs in NYCp. 79
From Atlantisp. 81
3. Michael's Dreamp. 81
6. New Dogp. 83
Triptychp. 85
A Week in the Life of the Ethnically Indeterminatep. 95
The Space Betweenp. 98
Talkin' Trashp. 100
Intimate Mixturep. 102
From Where I Standp. 103
Invaders from Marsp. 106
Pasolinip. 108
Burroughsp. 109
From The Visitp. 110
2. Odd to closep. 110
10. A famous monkp. 111
11. This imagep. 111
Cobwebsp. 112
February Ice Yearsp. 113
Lullabye for a Butchp. 115
New Comersp. 118
Open Poemp. 120
Going Back to the Riverp. 123
The Boyp. 125
Invocationp. 126
Year's Endp. 127
Squares and Courtyardsp. 128
Changing What We Meanp. 132
Changing the Oilp. 133
Louganisp. 133
What It Was Like the Night Cary Grant Diedp. 135
From Los Angeles Looking Southp. 136
Sixth Gradep. 138
Bare Floorsp. 138
Only Daysp. 139
INRIp. 141
Sacrificep. 142
The Range of Itp. 144
The Tidesp. 145
Letters from the Frontp. 146
Guardian Lifep. 147
Scenes for an Elegyp. 148
Tea Dancep. 150
From Erotic Collectiblesp. 153
1977p. 153
1980p. 155
1992p. 157
Houseworkp. 160
Originsp. 161
Beatingsp. 162
Good-byep. 163
Inventoryp. 164
My Bodyp. 165
Legacyp. 166
Cold Riverp. 167
Kissing Ramonp. 168
How to Watch Your Brother Diep. 170
Brady Street, San Franciscop. 172
Sunset Stripping: Visiting L.A.p. 174
Three Poemsp. 176
1. For Anthonyp. 176
2. Photop. 176
3. Ramonp. 176
Going to Europep. 177
Vox Angelicap. 180
Mamap. 182
The Size of Itp. 183
Reading Whitman in a Toilet Stallp. 184
Strange Fruitp. 185
Tarzanp. 186
My Night with Federico Garcia Lorca (as told by Edouard Roditi)p. 187
Badelaire's Spleenp. 189
Barcelona Daysp. 191
My Mammogramp. 193
Late Night Odep. 195
First Stepsp. 196
Poem for the Endp. 207
A Window at Key Westp. 210
Edwardp. 211
Girl in a Fur-Trimmed Dressp. 213
An American Poemp. 215
Maxfield Parrishp. 218
Merkp. 221
Sleeplessp. 225
School of Fishp. 227
Multiple Assaultsp. 229
Rhonda, Age 15, Emergency Roomp. 231
8 Ways of Looking at Pussyp. 236
Lifesp. 239
The Public Placep. 241
Dancing in Paradisep. 241
Sundayp. 242
Think Backp. 244
Marianne Faithfull's Cigarettep. 245
Sailorp. 246
Loop-the-Loop in Prospect Park (1905)p. 247
Dog Starp. 251
Morning Songsp. 252
Handp. 257
Cotillionp. 259
The Killp. 260
As from a Quiver of Arrowsp. 261
In the Blood, Winnowingp. 262
Undressing for Li Pop. 265
[triptych]p. 267
[studs and rings: favors of the piercing party]p. 267
[always returning: holidays and burials. not every week]p. 268
[my father and me making dresses: together]p. 268
[you're thin again handsome: in our last]p. 269
[the minotaur at supper: spare the noritake and the spode]p. 269
Elbowsp. 270
Poem for My Sonsp. 271
Crime Against Naturep. 272
Red Stringp. 278
The Other Sidep. 280
Crowsp. 282
Signsp. 283
Fishp. 284
Daylightp. 284
Possiblep. 286
Flamenco Guitarp. 286
Can Pigeons Be Heroes?p. 287
Edgewater Parkp. 289
21 East 10th, 2BR, WBF, EIKp. 291
Exodusp. 291
The Gods at Three A.M.p. 300
Narcissus Learning the Words to This Songp. 301
Three A.M. Eternalp. 302
Eros in His Striped Blue Shirtp. 303
That Manp. 304
Days Innp. 306
Trashp. 306
Signp. 307
Marryp. 308
Home in Three Days. Don't Washp. 308
Forever Arimap. 310
'Round Irving High Schoolp. 313
Plenty Time Pass Fast, Fas Dey Sop. 315
First Sexp. 319
Nightsweatsp. 320
Phone Sexp. 321
Things to Do in Valley of the Dolls (The Movie)p. 327
Answer Songp. 328
From Eighteen to Twenty-Onep. 329
I. He said his namep. 329
III. More than anythingp. 329
V. Tom used spitp. 330
VII. As one young guyp. 330
Moonstonesp. 331
(Doll Not Included)p. 332
For Joe Brainardp. 332
The Dead Stepfatherp. 335
Tubesp. 336
Black Slipp. 338
In Chinap. 340
Take Good Care of Yourselfp. 345
Given in Person Onlyp. 346
The Trickp. 348
Aubadep. 349
Continent's Edgep. 350
East Seventh Streetp. 351
Permissions and Acknowledgmentsp. 353
About the Poetsp. 359
Bibliographyp. 375
Index of Titlesp. 381
Index of First Linesp. 387