Devil’s Paintbrush: Poems
Desiree Alvarez is a poet who imbues reality with the mythic and mystical to create striking imagery. Alvarez, who created the cover art for Devil’s Paintbrush with a flamethrower, is also an artist, which may partly explain her strong visual images. For example in Yours, In Snow, she writes, “Your eyes, smoked blue, are full of mountains / and something beyond that keep me.” In Chorus of Snow Quartz, “Lichen glows as if a place could be a lover.” In Indian Elephant, the speaker slips out at night to “watch the pearls of gulls string the abandoned pier.” In Familiar where the speaker mourns her dog, “the wind blew a hole right through me in the shape of a dog running on my first night without you.” Given the beauty of her words, it comes as no surprise that Alvarez has won numerous awards, fellowships and residences, including the 2015 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize for Devil’s Paintbrush. For those who seek a haunting line, Devil’s Paintbrush provides ample material to savor.