by Chris Tysh
"Cleavage continues Chris Tysh’s exploration of the self and the body as an erotic alphabet. The 26 poems embolden even the most cautious reader to advance deeply into the text and reclaim herself. The book builds a witty matrix of language entertainments, no holds barred and no opportunity unexplored .Cleavage is erotic, intelligent, self-aware and acutely conscious with a hothouse femme expertise. Vernacular and current, literary and erudite, Tysh’s references serve her immediate images in one deft sketch after another, showing us women in their most intimate relations to themselves, their lives, and circumstances. Tysh is possessed of a singular sensual intellect, now fully mature, and going at full throttle."
- Johanna Drucker
"Chris Tysh’s witty, subtle work makes important contributions to a cosmopolitan poetic culture. Cleavage stands up straight and zings."
- Rachel Blau DuPlessis
"Chris Tysh’s rapturous and fierce gynocentric alphabet is an act of recovery and a celebration of lexical gender. Its matrix of puns, indicators, and reverberations serves as both a re-dress of grievances and a poly-orgasmic fountain of play. Put on this fabulous “zigzag tiara” to heal what cleaves: an imperium of sense and sensibility really is possible!"
- Aaron Shurin
"The Cleavage of enjambment startles, where risen suddenly rhymes with linen. Its compass stripped bare, Chris Tysh’s pulp theory becomes poetry noir. Twenty-six titles, “proper” nouns accord with “improper” improprieties inappropriately appropriate, whose heart rhymes with struggle. The material word challenges the metaphorical, mimetic world. The alphabet has never (been) played like this."
— Norma Cole
Publication date: March 2004