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Ghost Girl

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  181 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Sly and sophisticated, direct, playful, and profound, Amy Gerstler’s new collection highlights her distinctive poetic style. In thirty-seven poems, using a variety of dramatic voices and visual techniques, she finds meaning in unexpected places, from a tour of a doll hospital to an ad for a CD of Beethoven symphonies to an earthy exploration of toast. Gerstler’s abiding in ...more
Paperback, 63 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by Penguin Books
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Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I think what I love most about Amy Gerstler’s work is that she never feels like she’s repeating herself. She is nothing if not original.

Favourites from this volume include:

Touring the Doll Hospital
An Offer Received in This Morning’s Mail: (On misreading an ad for a set of CDs entitled Beethoven’s Complete Symphonies.)
The Oracle at Delphi, Reincarnated as a Contemporary Adolescent Girl
(Poem That Spills Off The Page) A List of Answers to the Question: “And what, pray tell, were you wearing?”
A Ble
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Quite imaginative and enjoyable. It's quirky good stuff plus the cover image includes a planchette!
mwpm mwpm
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Why so many senseless injuries? This one's glass teeth
knocked out. Eyes missing, or stuck open or closed.
Limbs torn away. Sawdust dribbles onto the floor
like an hourglass running out. Fingerless hands, noses
chipped or bitten off. Many are bald or burnt. Some,
we learn, are victims of torture or amateur surgery.
Do dolls invite abuse, with their dent-able heads,
those tight little painted-on or stitched-in grins?
Hurt me, big botched being, they whine in a dialect
only puritans and the frequently puni
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This book starts out very strong. The last half didn't have as much power as the first half, but still was quite enjoyable. She doesn't use the same vocabulary or repetition (I enjoyed that, although there weren't any challenging vocabulary words) and each poem is fresh and raw. T I added it to my list of books to buy. I think, overall, it's a very good and unique book.

My favourite lines/poems were:

"It's what I was born for for. I know my tiny white pantaloons/and sheer underskirts incite violat
Donald Armfield
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
The title caught my eye, but what really made me check this book out was a titled poem "Fuck You Poem #45" That poem turned out to be not what I expected.

Amy Gerstler writes a surreal dark collection of poetry. From Doll house of broken toys, a fetus and a circus poster displaying a bizarre circus coming to town. Here are my favorite titles.

-Touring the Doll Hospital
-The Fetus' Curious Monologue
-The Oracle at Delphi, Reincarnated.....
-Listen, Listen!, Listen
-Buddha Sonnet 1-3
-Poem for Bernard
Jan 08, 2008 rated it liked it
This one started out really strong for me, and I loved the first half-dozen poems or so, but it didn't sustain that kind of energy for me. Maybe the poems as a whole were just a little bit too traditional? Too many of them were weird monologues? Something about it just meant that it wasn't one of my faves, as much as I think it's accomplished.
Jul 05, 2010 rated it liked it
no matter how bad u get into fights w/ family, it always works out.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
An "Ode to Toast" is followed directly by an "Ode to Semen" - this is my kind of book. Not to mention it's absolutely gorgeous and its subjects include ghosts, witches, ogres... and pastries.
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Amy Gerstler is the real deal.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it
probably closer to 3.5, a few great poems the rest were fairly average
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it
While reading I kept marveling at how unexpected the images were, but after closing the book, I could hardly remember any of them.
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I love Amy Gerstler. She writes lots of list poems and persona poems. So much fun to read.
Lynn Zitta
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Known for its wit and complexity, Amy Gerstler's poetry deals with themes such as redemption, suffering, and survival. Author of over a dozen poetry collections, two works of fiction, and various articles, reviews, and collaborations with visual artists, Gerstler won the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for Bitter Angel (1990). Her early work, including White Marriage/Recovery (19 ...more
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“Fuck You Poem #45

Fuck you in slang and conventional English.
Fuck you in lost and neglected lingoes.
Fuck you hungry and sated; faded, pock marked, and defaced.
Fuck you with orange rind, fennel and anchovy paste.
Fuck you with rosemary and thyme, and fried green olives on the side.
Fuck you humidly and icily.
Fuck you farsightedly and blindly.
Fuck you nude and draped in stolen finery.

Fuck you while cells divide wildly and birds trill.
Thank you for barring me from his bedside while he was ill.
Fuck you puce and chartreuse.
Fuck you postmodern and prehistoric.
Fuck you under the influence of opiun, codeine, laudanum, and paregoric.
Fuck every real and imagined country you fancied yourself princess of.
Fuck you on feast days and fast days, below and above.
Fuck you sleepless and shaking for nineteen nights running.
Fuck you ugly and fuck you stunning.

Fuck you shipwrecked on the barren island of your bed.
Fuck you marching in lockstep in the ranks of the dead.
Fuck you at low and high tide.
And fuck you astride
anyone who has the bad luck to fuck you, in dank hallways,
bathrooms, or kitchens.
Fuck you in gasps and whispered benedictions.

And fuck these curses, however heartfelt and true,
that bind me, till I forgive you, to you.”

Where's the wisdom in erasing a loved one's mess,
so akin to his signature? Your honor, I only meant
to strew the immaculate in his wake. To wipe the path
ahead and behind reasonably clean. Futile, yes,
but weren't such gestures essential to love's discipline
once upon a time? Daily, I harvested dropped fruit peels
and socks. I chased him through life with dustpan
and broom, smoothed his body dents from the bed,
soothed the mud tramped floors. Did I sin in this?
Better to leave the habitat sweetly reeking of him
than to spend years scrubbing up evidence of his existence.
Archaelogists centuries hence may marvel at such relics:
his mustard stained napkins, toothpicks chewed
to splinters. Never let it be said that in my zeal
to clean I robbed the future's museums. Who
am I to call what flies to either side of the trail
he blazes--half read magazines, cups of scummed
over coffee and mashed out cigarettes--dirt?”
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