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Nicole Steinberg Will Cut You

  • Tattooed Mom 530 South St. Philadelphia, PA USA (map)

There are many lines worth cribbing from Glass Actress, the new collection from the increasingly decorated Philadelphia poet Nicole Steinberg, but here is one that feels particularly universal:

No one will mourn for my weekend,
which had the utter shit kicked out of it
& died at a pizzeria in South Philly.

Ahem. That’s from a poem called “Pizza Is Cheaper Than Therapy,” but please do not mistake Steinberg for some kind of relatable co-participant in the Daily Urban Struggle Circa Gentridelphian Times. Because that’s not the point here; the point is, Steinberg will cut you. Beneath Glass Actress’s scenes of woe in CVS, in the Netflix bedroom, beneath all that local color is a glorious howl of refusal. There’s fight in these poems that is frankly inspiring in the face of garbage-y sameness and the new and constant threat that this life is some kind of cosmic joke. In short, and to paraphrase Morrissey (heaven and Steinberg alike forgive me), you’re gonna need poems like this on your side.

Nicole Steinberg’s Glass Actress reading/book launch party, with poets Ryan Eckes, Rachel Milligan, Gabrel Ojeda-Sague, and Kirwin Sutherland, is free. More info/Facebook invite here.