Amber Tamblyn’s Poetry Corner: “Open Your Mouth Like a Bell” By Mindy Nettifee

by Lydia Wang

In each issue of BUST, Amber Tamblyn reviews a book of poetry. From our April/May 2018 issue, here’s her review of “Open Your Mouth Like a Bell” by Mindy Nettifee:

There’s a sharp art in wielding dark humor and tender reality, and the poems in Mindy Nettifee’s new collection, Open Your Mouth Like a Bell (Write Bloody), pierce like pointed, poetic blades. “There are many doorways,” begins the title poem. “The eating sadness donuts on a frozen river in Vermont/doorway./The ecstatic yes doorway./The psychedelic healing in a Detroit living room doorway./The unrequited doorway./The adorn your body in smaall silver bells and walk steady in a/spiral doorway./The child that blames you doorway.” Nettifee is a master metaphor communicator, able to convey multiple emotions in a single sentence while leaving her readers levitating with luminosity. Even her titles are playful poems, as is the case with “I Have Great Taste in Rocks” and “Back When I Only Dated Lions.” Her subjects range from being raised by a gay father, to heartbreak, to new love, to Hillary Clinton–and not one selection disappoints. Open Your Mouth Like a Bell is sure to be one of the best poetry books of the year, written by one of the best feminist authors living today.

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Photography by Michael Lavine

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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