kissing keeps us afloat
by Laurie MacFayden
Kissing Keeps Us Afloat by Laurie MacFayden is humorous and joyful, uninhibited and sassy; MacFayden positively swaggers with her love of words and imagery.
|Dimensions||9 × 6 × .375 in|
Laurie MacFayden is an award-winning poet, visual artist and journalist who has lived in Edmonton since 1984. In addition to three books of poetry, Walking Through Turquoise, Kissing Keeps Us Afloat (2014) and White Shirt (2010), all published with Frontenac House, her writing has appeared in The New Quarterly, FreeFall, Queering the Wayand online at canadianpoetries.com. White Shirt won a Golden Crown Literary Society award and was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary awards. A painter, poet, photographer and avid traveler, she spent more than 30 years as a sports journalist. Her work has been performed in Edmonton’s Loud & Queer Cabaret, Skirts Afire HerArts Festival, and Q the Arts: Calgary’s Queer Arts & Culture Festival. When not wordsmithing or playing with light, she enjoys drinking strong coffee in faraway places. She blogs at spatherdab.com and her art lives at www.lauriemacfayden.com
“The colour red infuses Kissing Keeps Us Afloat as blood, anger, and love infiltrate our lives. Red flows as wondrous crayons shading in the shape of a life lived passionately. With flashes of humour and the occasional playful rhyme, Laurie MacFayden urges us to keep loving, losing, caring, and colouring. Not always with the red crayons, but these poems remind us to keep those ones — in their hues of crimson and lust — well-sharpened.”
“Swinging and searing verses, meditative narratives, honky-tonk tunes and catalogues of favoured things (including what lovers bring — or leave behind), all merge to make Kissing Keeps Us Afloat a book for tongues and lips to sing. MacFayden knows painting and music, and she loves words and women. The result is art without limit, craft without regret, and poetry that faces trauma and embraces the erotic. MacFayden tells us, “some days,” a poet “will swagger home with roses; / some days, she will stagger home with thorns.” Because her heart and mind are open to hurts and salves, the poet both suffers and exults. She sets her eyes–and sights–directly on bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, beaches, forest glades, motels, streets, and all the passion plays and comedies enacted in these places. Thus, she shows us that home is where the lover is, and home is where love is born, “hidden … in mitochondrial strands” or even in “the intimate seams of some underthings.” MacFayden’s poetry is both red-hot and cool-blue, white lies and film noir, memory and truth. In the supposed mundane, she shows us, transcendence awaits.”
~George Elliott Clarke