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Less Obvious Gods
Lisa Coffman

ISBN: 978-1-60454-222-6


84 Pages


In Lisa Coffman’s provocative odes, abstractions become entities, relatable, influential, surprising: our “Less Obvious Gods.”  For Coffman, experience folds back on itself, change perpetually remakes us, and consciousness is always self-consciousness, complicating our every desire with rueful awareness: “what the wave does below the wave.”  In “Kiss,” she evokes “your tongue loosing words off what they cover,” and that stripping off of self-deception, that recognition of our dangerous freedom to swim—or not—in passion’s undertow, makes Less Obvious Gods a theogony for our equivocal times.

—Nathalie F. Anderson

Lingering, meticulous, breathless, aglow, Less Obvious Gods showcases Lisa Coffman's superb ear, and her mind and eye attuned to both joy and loss. The pour and spill of her lyric can barely contain—in her own words—"the honest messy nature/of when inner is brought forth to outer."  Coffman is wonderfully, quirkily attentive to big things revealed in small moments. It has been well worth the wait for her second book.

—Daisy Fried

These are poems dazzling in their grace, sharpness, depth, and the joy of surprising truths surfacing on page after page.  Coffman has an ear for American music, an eye for precise detail, a striking intelligence, a heart that pulses wildly, and an understanding of silence, of what’s not said.  Love and sex, family, bulls and cows, dogs, time, pain, “a little oar into the underworld”—oh, I can’t tell you how jubilant I feel reading Less Obvious Gods, how completely satisfying it is.

—Alicia Ostriker

Less Obvious Gods has attitude a-plenty, and is refreshingly unguarded and transgressive in its approach to both tone and subject matter—which is as often as not an almost-Tantric refusal to distinguish between the erotic and the devotional. The author has an unmistakable voice, one that is querulous, unflappable and hip without being fashionably wise-ass. Lisa Coffman is a writer of considerable promise.

—David Wojahn


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