Crave by Christine Gelineau

Christine Gelineau
January 2016
Windsor, NY
NYQ Books
88 pages
ISBN: 9781630450205
Buy here

Gelineau’s Crave does not require metaphor—reality is enough. This work is rooted in the clear, precise, deadpan truth of everyday life, be it marriage, death, crime, illness, love, birth, children, nature, beauty, passion, intimacy, or surrender—an entire spectrum of issues, none of which are glamorized or glossed over. These pages of memories and stories are also revivals of love, tenderness, pain, loss, closeness, devotion—things people desperately need, not only to feel alive, but to feel the point of it. This piece is as much a memoir as it is poetry. And yet at once it is astonishingly fresh, current, and relevant. These are stories that our high-speed, technological world needs to understand if it is to stay in balance.

These are stories that our high-speed, technological world needs to understand if it is to stay in balance.

When I first saw the title, I read it as a verb, to crave, and a noun, such as cravings—the act of desiring something and the something itself. After reading Gelineau’s poems, Crave instead became an existential state. It is not what I am doing or what I am wanting but rather something as fundamental to my own existence in this physical body as my own heartbeat.

“It’s exactly the fact that you could die that lets you forget you will die,” she says in "Backing a Colt for the First Time" (63). I would not move forward toward my own death if it were not for this ache to live and so I take the risk and face the fear. I step onto the dance floor of life for some improv intimacy with things that hurt and things that heal; for a barn dance hoot-n-hollar with the dualities of joy and sorrow, change and standstill, surrender and control, fulfillment and loss, health and suffering, with fear itself. At the end of the song I hope to be as grateful for the quiet as I was for the rhythm. Crave seems to be about the author’s experience of this dance through her own life, and at the end, she offers guidance. In "To-Do List for the Final Decades," she says, “Compose a navigation song to chart your losses, and the way back” (81).

“When it comes to the truth, some folks require hard evidence” (17) and Crave gives us a hint: that if you look life in the eye, you might actually get what you're looking for. 

Cori Coccia
Nomadic Press
Coccia is an educator, kite-flier, beachcomber, belly laughter, adventurer, and lucid dreamer. Sometimes she writes it down. Her vocational endeavors can be found here: