Bibliohio: Recommended Reading from the Heart-Shaped State

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

“Safe House,” David Winter

Why you’ll love it:

“The days when I feel scraped out like a carved/ wooden bowl are not bad days,” David Winter tells us in one poem from his chapbook, “Safe House.” Indeed, this collection is full of absence, loss, heartbreak and most importantly, a reclaiming of the voice. What I found fascinating is Winter’s interrogation of maleness and bodyness — a gay mob boss meets his lover, Abraham studies his son, a man is released to his family on parole. These poems know that all love carries risk.

See for yourself:

“Desire/ will bury a man easy as money./ Our affair could end no other way./ But my arms made a ring around/ his neck so perfect, I used to think/ God measured us for each other...”

—from “Luciano Serafino’s Lover”

“A Sock Full of Holes,” Jacob Snodgrass

Why you’ll love it:

Barbies, booze, bedpans and bruises — the world in Jacob Snodgrass’ “A Sock Full of Holes” is an ugly place. Ugly, but stylized (think Tyler Durden’s house in “Fight Club”). His stories host characters who are weird, raunchy and decidedly bad people (including moronic robbers, a hospital staff who puts celebrity masks on their patients and The Meece, a repulsive lady who scams folks at funeral homes). Snodgrass’ debut will leave you laughing and wanting a shower.

See for yourself:

“I cross the street and walk past the graffiti on the side of the liquor store that says ‘Loco Sam Loves All Ladies,’ and I know in my heart that he does. There is a smashed Styrofoam cup on the ground and a half-empty bag of Funyuns. I can smell the sewer, fried fish, fried chicken ... There’s not a single star to be seen anywhere in the sky.”

—from “See a Pretty Thing”