By turns darkly comic, emotionally connected, playful, incisive, lyrical and irreverent, Lake’s poems navigate a harrowing personal and political terrain with understated, expansive wisdom. Lake persistently returns us to the search for love that lies at the core of relational trauma, even as she shows us how catastrophically such a search can be derailed.
This is a rare text able to hold the full velocity of a survivor’s hurt and rage alongside a clear-eyed understanding of the extent and complexity of harm. In their honest accounting of a wide array of bad encounters, these poems point us, again, toward compassion, tenderness, and solidarity.
can you forgive me
for how you hurt me so bad
Praise for Horrible Dance
“Language that cuts like a knife.” —Emma Telaro, The Montreal Review of Books
“Lake’s palimpsest of genders past and future is curious, strange, preoccupied, and lovely.” — Davey Davis, author of the earthquake room
“Come for the razor wit and sly commentary, stay for the intense emotional acuity and mastery of form. Lake transitions effortlessly from subtle meditations on trauma and transition to searing indictments of disposability and abuse culture.” — Kai Cheng Thom, author of I Hope We Choose Love and Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars
“These poems are beautiful, pointed, ferociously sad, and at just the right times also bang-on funny. They’re a deep look at recovery, trauma, transness, and healing, and what is and isn’t possible.” — Casey Plett, author of A Safe Girl to Love, Little Fish, and A Dream of a Woman
“The poems in Horrible Dance offer deft witness and lament with a wryly arched brow, and a tender heart, well bruised, still beating.” — Trish Salah, author of Wanting in Arabic and Lyric Sexology Vol. I