In these poems, Liu explores the starkness of sexuality. His poems bluntly re-create a sensual loneliness and violence and the sharp edges of strained dynamics between lovers. Paintings by Greg Drasler, which appear throughout the book and function as evocative mirrors to the poems, primarily depict interiors devoid of people. The ceilings in Drasler's rooms are often the first thing one notices, and they evoke the upper limit of a situation or feeling is often reached. Charles Altieri writes an interesting introduction to the book; he says that the "negatives born of Liu's lucidity become strange sources of plentitude." In several poems titled "The Marriage," it is indeed the negative space in the marriages that becomes alive with the imagined and the unsaid.
This book review originally appeared in American Poets.