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"I have to keep looking; try to see more, speak more, turn away less," says Lisa DeSiro in her fine first book, Labor. And this is what her poems do: they keep their eyes peeled, their ears open, and their hearts receptive. (Boston street bustle comes vividly alive in many of these poems.) But receptivity demands a tolerance for paradox, and DeSiro's poems--in disarmingly simple, idiomatic language--plumb the secrets of the world's contradictions. "Go ahead, enjoy this day" begins a poem titled "9/11 Anniversary, Public Garden." At home with the prose poem as well as the tightly rhymed lyric, DeSiro distills memorable music from the most colloquial moments--"We were all thumbs on our dumb phones"--and offers readers a vibrant panoply of sights and sounds, captured and conveyed in her impressively taut writing.
-- Steven Cramer, author of Clangings and Goodbye to the Orchard