“Belieu’s poems use a vernacular of their own to suggest a noir world of erotic innuendo and red lights waiting to be run.”—Neon
Black Box is a raw, intense book, fueled by a devastating infidelity. With her marriage shattered, Erin Belieu sifts the wreckage for the black box, the record of disaster. Propelled by a blistering and clarifying rage, she composed at fever pitch and produced riveting, unforgettable poems, such as the ten-part sequence “In the Red Dress I Wear to Your Funeral”:
I root through your remains,
looking for the black box. Nothing left
but glossy chunks, a pimp’s platinum
tooth clanking inside the urn. I play you
over and over, my beloved conspiracy,
my personal Zapruder film—look. . .
When Belieu was invited by the Poetry Foundation to keep a public journal on their new website, readers responded to the Black Box poems, calling them “dark, twisted, disturbed, and disturbing” and Belieu a “frightening genius.” All true.