"It is difficult to say in a few words all that should be, could be said of this powerful book. Its language is lush, exacting and active; its sounds alert, nervy and quick. All this may be seductive, lulling, entrancing but then there are the facts of violence and grief one encounters, often wrenching combinations of the two. When a poem says: "my skin is soft/the safety’s off" I quake, shudder and brace myself."—Dara Wier
"Though Simone Muench’s Orange Crush is riveted with poignant moments of history, each poem revels in a contemporary passion that holds the reader in an abiding now. I believe and trust each highly tuned moment, every little, intrinsic turn. This poet’s music is unique and personal, but it’s also public; words collide softly to create a sound of feeling that registers in the body and mind. Orange Crush celebrates everydayness, while always moving toward the revelatory."
"A sweet fever of a voice lures us into pictures of bone bonnets, whip stripes and dead girls. These poems freeze time. Simone pulls absolute beauty and light from these dark moments. I’m in and hooked."—Tim Rutili of Califone
"Simone Muench’s third book of poems, Orange Crush, draws on amazingly lush and specific language to describe, in part, scenes of women’s hardship. However, rather than reinforcing images of victimization, Muench’s women emerge as brilliantly complex, and they bite at the boxes they are in."—American Poets
Orange Girl Suite
| A cause betweene an orendge wife, and a forset-seller |
hunter, I hand you
a red sweater, whisper
in the light-latticed
forest. you burn
in this feral
to all small
deaths, your lips
an orange smear
your rifle’s leverage
cocks your spine.
my skin is soft.
the safety’s off.
Orange Girl Cast
1: the fever (starring kristy b)
Sweet Kristy of the culvert, the ankle turn, the verb imperfect, and sailors’ notebooks. In this metropolis of binoculars and chicken bones, in this city black with chicken-wire alchemists and bloody gutters, she feigns a fever in her red brassiere, her lavender dress lilting across headlights of chrome sedans: skin livid-exquisite with light bulbs and batteries beneath sinister-shouldered men, zombie drunk from fermented peaches and her silk stocking smell. Sweet Kristy of the corset, born of Anne Boleyn and a bird collector, born of alum and blindfolds, born to unzip men’s breath, their clamorous wrists with an alphabet on her breast, a switchblade pinned to her taffeta thigh. Where are you leading with your eyelets and hooks, catching men with clothespins and rain in the perfect sphere of your dance hall mouth.
4: the train track (starring mary b)
Train track flutter girl; coriander lips and Prohibition ale. That empty mouth like a bottle on a man’s neck. Marabou soft, doe’s muzzle on a pomegranate split, ultraviolet. You might have to rid yourself of all the boys, mostly rapscallions. How they feel under hands: red fish, big branches caught in your rain-rinsed hair, river tresses. For your ankle, a thread of nine carat bone. While the crossbuck sign bells with danger, citronella girls smoke Parliaments with a felon; your campfire jaw, a kerosene swoon.