Poet Sara Wuertz doesn’t shy away from her city’s literary tradition of mingling exquisite pleasures with tortuous pain. If anything, the life story she recounts in the introduction to her poems could serve as the roadmap to a life of creating angst-ridden verse. She lost the use of her legs to muscular dystrophy, suffered domestic violence at the hands of a girlfriend tellingly named D’Monica (demonic-a) and nearly lost herself to drug abuse.
Through all this, Sara writes about love, lust and longing. Does the juxtaposition of love and violence seem like a contradiction? Sara is a contradiction. Her writing manages to be both Gothic (another fine Southern tradition) and plainspoken. She combines high-strung emotion with a devastating way of looking at the everyday that makes the smallest, most seemingly mundane detail suddenly seem extraordinary, like a close-up of a horror film prop.
The result is like a musical collaboration between Melissa Etheridge and Stabbing Westward: think chaotic power chords and skull-and-bones imagery over a core of blunt emotional honesty and a bubbling-to-the-surface eroticism. Sara’s other pop-rock sister-in-arms in P!nk, who also weaves in real pain (and addiction/recovery terminology) among smartypants lyrics over rhythms you can jam to. If books could sing, this one would have a string of Top 10 hits.
Sara Wuertz calls her debut poetry collection ‘Poisoned Kiss: A Book of Poetry, Pain and Wisdom.’ Published in January 2011 by Write2Grow Press, the book can be purchased from the publisher or through Lulu.com. She may be young, but as this dazzling collection proves, Sara’s had to mature beyond her years.