Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes

Cheryl Dumesnil transforms the seemingly useless—the discarded, the broken off, what we keep in the kitchen drawer—into proof of our humanity, asserting that it's to the things of this world, whether they be oil-slicked puddles, cathedrals, tampons or Pink Floyd, that our lives are anchored. These poems are as tactile as that kitchen junk drawer and just as rewarding to rummage through. Each poem begs to be picked up, turned over in the palm.
Dorianne Laux

The poems in Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes are survival songs, the tunes you whistle while walking through the Valley of Shadows, to keep your fears at bay and your spirit awake. The shadows here are many—cancer, poverty, a lost love, famine, suicide, war, an ever-encroaching existential angst. But so are the saving graces—a drag queen waitress whose “painted-on eyebrows arched like a bridge / toward starlight,” “strawberries / grown fat around dimpled gold seeds,” Pink Floyd’s “‘On the Turning Away’ sent through my car / radio like the ghost voice of a beloved long dead,” black phoebes rattling “winter / thistles, swollen throats percussing: / this is this is this is . . . ” Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes reminds us that where there is shadow there must, necessarily, also be light.

104 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

October, 2016

isbn : 9780822964315

about the author

Cheryl  Dumesnil

Cheryl Dumesnil’s books include the 2008 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize winner, In Praise of Falling, the memoir Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood, and the anthology Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos, co-edited with Kim Addonizio.

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Cheryl  Dumesnil