Suppose you could travel back, in the obscure regions of memory, to the origin of desire? For Richard Scott, and perhaps for all of us, that beginning point is a wound – an occasion of harm, a lack – that forever after shapes our sense of what it is to want. For the martyred saints on display in the parish church, “devotion is a perpetual hurt.” Scott’s poems chronicle violation – in the van of the unforgettable fishmonger among “the stopped hearts of bivalves pickled in brine/…resting on clouds of ice,” or at the hands of the butcher’s apprentice: “Oh to be your prey!/ Hang me up…” Brave and aching poems, yes, but not merely so; Scott’s resonant language veers between the plain and the rapturous, testifying to the persistence, no matter what, of pleasure. - Mark Doty
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