Eroticism cut from classical mythology, ritual, and intimacy
In The Flesh Between Us the speaker explores our connections to each other, whether they be lovely or painful, static or constantly shifting, or, above all, unavoidable and necessary. Intensely and unapologetically homoerotic in content and theme, The Flesh Between Us sensuously conducts the meetings between strangers, between lovers, between friends and family, between eater and eaten, between the soul and the body that contains it. Pushing the boundaries of what has been traditionally acceptable for gay and erotic content and themes, the poems adapt persona, Greek mythology, Judaism, and classic poetic forms to interrogate the speaker’s relationship to god and faith, to love and sex, to mother and father.
Stark and mythical, the imagery draws from the language of animals and nature. Episodes of kink tangle with creatures of forests and lore. In this tumult, the lines of poetry keep a sense of boundary and distance by the seeming incompatibility of their subjects: daybreak and dissection, human and insect, worship and reality. The touch of irreconcilable bodies, in Adkisson’s language, intimates the precise moment of love. The idea of love moves viscerally through rib, lung, throat, and mouth. The poems show how flesh opens in so many ways, in prayers, in bleeds, in ruts. The flesh, opened, begins to swell. If there is guilt in this, Adkisson’s poems refuse the placid satisfaction of confession. Whatever attachments the reader dares to draw must be made with blade or tongue. The reader must commit to the potential violence narrated by these poems.