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Coeur de Lion

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  391 ratings  ·  49 reviews

Now that I am not addressing you But the “you” of poetry I am probably doing something horrible and destructive.
But this “I” is the I of poetry And it should be able to do more than I can do.

Just a few months after the publication of her prize-winning, instant classic debut The Cow, Ariana Reines self-published this stunning book-length poem, now a cult object among reade

Paperback, 108 pages
Published March 14th 2008 by Mal-O-Mar
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I DEVOURED this book as soon as I pulled it out of the POBox! LUCKILY I didn't have to go to my stupid job and could sit in the park and READ READ READ IT with all the pain and pleasure it deserves having when read!

So many unexpected FREAKISH, BEAUTIFUL moments it's hard to put a finger to it. Here's one particular moment (JUST WHEN sex in poems was getting redundant and boring THIS SUCH STANZA):

I did it a few
Times when I was
Eighteen. My hole
Is just another
Hole in the world
I said in my head
My ho
Aug 06, 2008 Ana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who ever thought contemporary poetry was unexciting. read it and weep
Ariana Reines wrote the best book of the year, and 2009 will have to work hard to top this, and hell, most other years too. Coeur de Lion isn't just 'great,' it's Great. Read it, talk about it, spread the word!
Carrie Lorig
it's so important that there are women.
I just read the new Fence version and it was full of startling moments and bare-ass naked truth. This is one of those books (along with other "personal" poetic volumes like Ghost Machine and Greg Sherl's I Have Touched You) that was the perfect thing for me to read right now. Raunchy, sexy, confessional beauty. Can't wait to read more of her work and to see her read one day. I've heard that her readings are crazed!
Voice? I felt like she was sitting talking to me. To borrow a word from one of my favorite sources; "Unbestopable!"
A single long poem or a series of poems with no discernible boundaries, about a love affair. The book is coversational, but urgent, the words tumble over each other desperately so that suddenly you look up and you've read forty pages.

"Ariana" pines after and also kind of disdains and also kind of loathes and also kind of tenderly cares for her love object, "Jake", who has been writing emails to "Emma", a girl who is clever but simple, pretty, infinitely more manageable than the narrator, whom
William Gass calls the sentence a unit of consciousness, and the sentences here, splintered into lines of verse, navigate between self-analysis, self-pity, self-revelation, self-delusion. Maybe one of life's fundamental conflicts is between the way you know yourself to be, and the way others see you?

Of course, that's the province of the love poem and the love song: the accusatory, needful *I* and the hateful, beloved *You*

COEUR DE LION seems like both an embodiment and deconstruction of the lov
I loved this.

At times, I felt like some kind of a voyeur reading it--but not a voyeur of sleaze; more like a voyeur of open authenticity.

There are lots of parts I like. Here is one of them:

The words on a page
In an open book
Looked stupid to
Me when I was little
Unless I was right up close
To them. They looked
Weak; barely
It made me nervous
That in order
For words on a page
To have power
I had to be close.
I had to be close.

This book puts me in mind of someone I know and semi-secretly love but canno
I read this in one day - that's how gripping & essential it is. Written in a style that is compelling, addictive, direct; Reines is both clumsy and graceful, and the poem has a catalytic effect. How anyone can write such truthful lines despite the cynicism such knowledge should inculcate is beyond me. For anyone looking for proof that there is such a thing as a love poetry that replicates the experience of pangs of lost desire: that wounds & turns in the gut and doesn't lie despite the h ...more
this poem-story is fascinating, and i want to read it again. it's intimate, self-indulgent (absurdly so at some points, but also somehow still effective, maybe because it's so self-consciously *personal*), and accurate.

it can probably best speak for itself. (don't worry, no spoilers here; although this spiralling self-analysis does have a plot, or anyway a coherent narrative structure, these fragments won't reveal it)

" though proximity were tantamount
to metonymy, which it isn't, not in rea
Jeune Fille
Even if
Your having been a field across which certain things

this is my favorite part of this book:

i really liked this but i also read this after a breakup, and i read i love dick and a lover's discourse after my previous breakup, and both of those works, like this one, cemented every abstract feeling of obsession and frantic grief into something more tangible by fully describing the mystical aspects of the crush. i highly recommend reading all
Gonna carry this around with me for a while
I was told once by someone with whom I lived and was in love that I was capricious. It stung quite a bit to recognize the truth of his insight. I've spent a lot of time since that moment thinking about how to dial it back-sometimes successfully, but more often than I'd like to admit, I've failed miserably.

I love the sculpted rawness of this poem. The elegant articulation of the ugliness of her acts. It doesn't make me feel better about my own struggles with my caprices. Just not quite so alone
i moaned.
Aug 22, 2008 Beau rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
I’ve been reading Ariana Reines lately. I am a regular-ish listener to Michael Silverblatt’s Bookworm show and it was there I discovered Ariana Reines. (Listen to the show, Ms. Reines gives a killer reading, though there is a fair amount of ‘bleeping’ - f*cking FCC!) Her latest work, the slender but whollup-packing “Coeur de Lion” amazes and delights and saddens and everything else, unfurling much like a Chinese Scroll Painting- linear in composition, but ...more
I liked this much more than "The Cow." The self-consciousness, while still present, is to a lesser and more productive degree. "Coeur de Lion" is basically about a love affair gone awry between the poet and one "Jake". It takes us through the poet's graduate school in Europe and some time in New York. She is poor and she and Jake have a lot of non-vanilla sex and she goes through his email account and pisses him off. Both have other lovers at home while they are in Europe (are they both cheating ...more
Peter Landau
A book length love poem is going to have sex, and Ariana Reines' poem has that, which has gotten it attention, but only "professional" relationships are only sex, and COEUR DE LION is far more than an exchange of goods or services. It is a well deep with emotional currents that resonated to this reader with all the ebbs and flows related to people when they couple. But it is more. The fact that the entire 90-something pages is narrated to "you" creates an intimacy on the page which mimics that b ...more
One long lyric often complicating the "you" of the love poem with the "you" of the second person. Or a raunchy and romantic narrative that darts in and out of something more expansive and confused and personal the way a difficult love affair often does. Beautiful, sad, and darkly hilarious.
Gene Tanta
"Whether as a gadfly to the bigger kids in communist Romania or as a teenager in Chicago, part of me always wanted to be hip, but another part always knew that it was too much work.

What does it mean to be hip? It means to be urban, wired, social, to occupy the latest spaces, to perform the most contemporary habits according to a precise code. If being hip means being urban, multinational, vanguard, does being unhip end up meaning that one has to be rural, nationalistic, or even parochial?"

"Poetry is supposed to be a lot of things: dark, indulgent, indecipherable—like wine labels or post-modern art. Certainly not the kind of thing you’d pass from friend to friend to friend; not the kind of thing you devour guiltily on the subway; not the kind of thing that reminds you of late night AIM sessions, the note left in a locker, the Moleskine hieroglyphics you perfected as an undergraduate, the words you agree with but never said out loud."

Read the rest of my review at Slate: http://www.
Yep, I think it actually is as good as everyone says it is.
probably a 3.5 to me.
Feb 22, 2012 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012, poetry
They fucked instead of listening to Badiou, and then she listened to Badiou. They broke up, but it felt like a bigger and smaller thing. The conclusion of this affected relationship is an inventory of books borrowed, bought, and loaned, and we realize here the combinations of body and text, their absent boundaries, facilitators of exchange.
Dan Edelstein
This book is colossal even though it is a slim volume of lyric poetry.

e.g. -
"Where is the "you" of You/ Tube."
"Arthur Rimbaud"
"When I am straddling you, you/ Say this ridiculous thing, Mamma /

really really colossally intellectually painfully tangibly believably superlatively fantastically good.
david blumenshine
can i just say that i wanted to post every single fucking line on my blog?
this book broke my heart.
so glad i saw her read, because
this shit
when dickinson says you know it's poetry when it lops the top of your head off?
maybe had this happen twice with other poets.
I will hoard all of Reines' works now.
Jesi Brubaker
After reading this book, I immediately wrote two poems. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like the book but then fell in love with it. I love everything about it; the confessional rambling is what makes this book so f**king beautiful! It's as if you are Ariana's best friend. I will definitely be reading her other books!
...I was sick of thinking
About you this morning but
I was listening to Bob Dylan and Leonard
Cohen in order to think about
You for literary purposes.
When I feel nothing for a person
I get scared I'm losing my humanity
And that turning cold means
My heart's been botoxed; we're
All fucked.
--p. 84
Rachel burns
The loving desperation, the voice of Ariana Reines is embodied in this book. I feel as if I’m in the room hanging on every interaction, like I am an unnoticed intruder frozen to the floor boards. This is a love poem that makes a connection & keeps your tied for eternity.
First reading: 4/22/08

Notes upon rereading (11/01/09):
This text really does destroy, and it's incredible how there is a potent balance of sentimentality and textual commentary that each undermines the other and creates a new sort of hybrid that works, well, perfectly.
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Ariana Reines is the author of The Cow (Alberta Prize, FenceBooks: 2006), Coeur de Lion (Mal-O-Mar: 2007; Fence: 2011), and MERCURY (Fence: forthcoming fall 2011), plus the LP/audiobook SAVE THE WORLD starring Lili Taylor (Fence: forthcoming spring 2011).

Volumes of translation include My Heart Laid Bare by Charles Baudelaire, (Mal-O-Mar:2009), The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal: Days and Ni
More about Ariana Reines...
The Cow Mercury Thursday SAVE THE WORLD The Origin Of The World

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“When I feel nothing for a person I get scared I'm losing my humanity and that turning cold means my heart's been botoxed; we're all fucked.” 5 likes
“Where are the messy women who love the fragile boys.
Where are the suicides who are my heroes.
Where are the bitches who know what they want, who love what they do, bosomy and declarative, happy to be artistic in this stupid night.”
More quotes…