From the alphabet inscribed in our DNA to the stars that once told stories, Same Life maps a cosmos both intricate and vast. In her first full-length book of poems, Maureen N. McLane has written a beautifully sensual and moving work, full of passion and sadness and humor and understanding. Erotically charged lyrics conjure a latter-day Sappho; major sequences explore citizenship and sexuality, landscape and history, moving us from Etruscan ruins to video porn, ushering us through cities, gardens, lakefronts, and airplanes. Here are poems equally alert to shifts in weather and cracks in consciousness; here is a poet equally at home with delicate song and vivid polemic. Same Life evokes an American life in transit, shareable yet singular; singable, ponderable, erotic; an unpredictable venture in twenty-first-century soul-making.
“Reading Maureen McLane's Same Life is like discovering Francois Truffaut's first films: this is an exhilarating, brilliant poet whose smart earlier essays prepared the ground. The best poems here are something new in the world, from gorgeous lyrics like ‘I wanted to crawl inside a middle voice' or ‘Populating Heaven' or ‘There is a place in the world' or ‘Core Samples' to the nervy pyrotechnics of ‘Excursion Susan Sontag.' Luminous fragments--the shattered mirror that everywhere reflects a light-filled ungraspable whole--McLane makes into a new way of possessing the world. This is a thrilling first book.” —Frank Bidart -