Romance or the End: Poems (Paperback)
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“This book takes me right back to the Carnage Years―yours, too―sacrificed to love. If only I, you, had possessed Elaine Kahn’s wisdom and wit. These poems are lacerating, coy, bloody, and so true I wanted to memorize lines from them.” ―Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room and The Flamethrowers
Romance or The End takes up the tools of romantic narrative in order to perform the rupture between self and story that occurs at the onset of trauma. Using known and pathologized literary arcs, Elaine Kahn unspools the fundamental instability of truth, love, and language to create an experiential portrait of narrative’s power to both disfigure and restore.
ROMANCE or THE END
This is a book about love.
And it is a book about lies.
Love can be a lie, but it is also always true.
This is a book about truth.
This is a book about story.
There is no such thing as a true story and so there are no stories in this book.
Without a story, there is separation.
This is a book about separation.
Everything is a story. Even the truth.
There is nothing truer in this world than the lie of love.
About the Author
Elaine Kahn is the author of Women in Public (City Lights, 2015), as well as several chapbooks including I Told You I Was Sick: A Romance (After Hours, Ltd., 2017), A Voluptuous Dream During An Eclipse (Poor Claudia, 2012) and Customer (Ecstatic Peace! Library, 2010). Her writing has appeared in Frieze, Brooklyn Rail, Jubilat, Poetry Foundation, Art Papers, and elsewhere. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and teaches at Pomona College and the Poetry Field School. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.