Icarus in Love


Out of stock

poems by

Antoinette Brim

Poetry book, 90 pages, $14 cover price

ISBN: 978-1-59948-390-0

Released: 2013


ABrim_PxAntoinette Brim
Antoinette Brim is a Cave Canem fellow, a recipient of the Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry has appeared in various journals, magazines and anthologies including Villanelles, 44 on 44: Forty-Four African American Writers on the 44th President of the United States, Not A Muse and Just Like A Girl: A Manifesta. Brim is a former guest host of Patrick Oliver’s Literary Nation Talk Radio (KABF 88.3, Little Rock) for which she interviewed entertainers, literary figures, political pundits and community developers. She teaches at Capital Community College in Hartford Connecticut. www.antoinettebrim.com


“…this female brain is always keeping time…” In this love song, Icarus in Love, each word is packed with weight and consideration-such that when the poet speaks of keeping time, the keeping is the collecting, the cherishing, the reflecting, the shaping, and the adoration of time, of memory, of the future, of tradition, of art. Antoinette Brim enters emotions with optimism and hope of enlightenment, and often she achieves such in these poems. Yes, “this female brain is always measuring” the substance and nature of love.

–Kwame Dawes


Icarus in Love, Antoinette Brim’s second collection, certifies the presence of a very fine poet among us. This entire collection is a strong reminder that assessing old ways of being is necessary work and loving the self is necessary work. Antoinette Brim is obviously at the point of assured command of her craft. The way she sifts through the past and reworks the deepest fibers of her experience is amazing evidence of the poet’s heart and skill. Her riffs on the work of other poets ring like music. I love so many, but I’ll list “The Female Body” and “Woman Sees Starry Night” and “33 Jackson Street Aubade”–simply great poems.

–Eloise Klein Healy,
author of A Wild Surmise: New & Selected Poems & Recordings


Antoinette Brim’s Icarus in Love is a stellar collection full of the mythology of living. Utilizing vibrant, recurring images that braid their way through our hearts and memories, Brim raises hard questions of survival and offers hope to us all. With poems in conversation with the work of Neruda, Plath, Bishop and others, Brim skillfully employs the use of poetic form to confront the teetering circumstances of life. An important collection from a poet on the rise!

–Jacqueline Jones LaMon,
author of Last Seen and Gravity, U.S.A.

upon viewing Kanak Chakma’s painting: Waiting 39

The artist smeared ultramarine blue onto the canvas
the way the lonely smear their blood onto asylum walls:

thick and warm. Frightfully fluid and dark. A poignant
background to the black strokes of calligraphed trees rising

into scribbles of despair where blackletter turns chignon
upon a waiting woman’s head and tendrils down into

folds of white linen and delicate white wrists clasped behind
her back and then into a twist of orange about her neck, a crawl

of orange twining up a tree trunk. Color enough to capture the eye
and balance the unbalanced scribble of wanton time with

two trails of hope in primary yellow.

Autumn Aubade

after Sylvia Plath

Watch with me. Today I would worship this world of bejeweled skies:
its ruby, amber and topaz in freefall against daylight, and then against
impending night. I could stand mouth open to drink in its silence punctuated by the sighs
of falling acorns on sidewalks and the scurry of nesting squirrels in the distance.

Overhead, black as shards of onyx, a murder of crows takes wing. They fly straight,
cut left in concert and then in arrow formation point to the edge of waning sunflower
fields and beds of dying mums, whose broad, dark faces bow down crying seeds. Wait
with me. Witness the dance of dandelion cotton on the wind. Forget the lateness of the hour.

I smell snow. Far off. It smells cold and clean as laundry left out all night.
The comfortless snow will soon cover us. The snow will blind us with its absence
of color. The leaves will dry brittle and brown. The squirrels will hide away. Delight
with me that (for now) our light jackets are enough. That our love is enough. Patience

is no longer a virtue. I smell snow. And when it falls, we cannot stop it.
It will fall long, hard and without respite.

Thomas & the Full Moon

Yes, Thomas,
it would seem that the moon is following us –
red and round and smiling
and seemingly following us.
Yes, Thomas,
if it follows us home,
we can keep it
on a string,
outside your window –
a night light.

The Heart Wants What It Wants


My heart wears red lipstick, tucks a dahlia behind her ear
Smoothes on silk hose, straightens the seams, she tells me:
The right shade of red will keep you from being lonely at night.
I shake my head slowly; add a copious splash of bleach to the dishwater
and begin to scrub away what remains from the evening meal.
My heart scoffs, and then moistens her index finger and thumb. A bit
of spittle on her shiny black hair forms a comma curl across her brow.
She tells me: You can’t wash yourself clean in a sink full of dirty dishes.
I spin my wedding rings around my prune wet fingers while watching
the suds reclaim the water’s surface after the pots pass through.
My heart lights a cigarette, stains its filter lusty red and exhales impatience.
I try to ignore her, but she thumps my chest hard. Your man is gone. Come
out with me. I promise to keep it light. Fun. She says. But I know,
she lies. Even so. I follow her. Lips lacquered. A dahlia behind my ear.

If you would like to read more of Icarus in Love by Antoinette Brim, order your copy today.

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