FB The French Exit


In the grip of the NYC sublime
I fell in love out of boredom.

I left the party, thru the French exit
to the smaller one inside

where the cake said

Look into my image
distortion disorder and tell me

what you really feel, now
that you’re incomprehensible, Mr.—

tell me “what for.” I love you
but my arms are full.

I opened my face with the door.

Click here to buy.

Poetry | $12.00, perfect-bound paperback. 72 pages, published by Birds, LLC, 2010. ISBN: 9780982617717

Read reviews of the French Exit here, here, here and here.

Read interviews here and here.

What a complex and lovely book this is! Reading Elisa Gabbert’s obsessively interior, technically rigorous poems is like listening in on the thoughts of a mind so fiercely observant and subtle that I find in them always some new twist, some surprising layer I hadn’t noticed before. By turns moving and witty, sharp-eyed and impressionistic, Gabbert writes with technical sophistication and keen intelligence. This is a terrific book.
– Kevin Prufer

It’s a pleasure to listen to the opinions of the narrator of The French Exit. Clear-eyed imagery and wit control the anxiety: “[A] boy at the counter disappears / or I can see through him.” Likewise, in a fine prose poem: “Do not be afraid of angering the birds. What angers the birds is fear.” The energy throughout Gabbert’s collection has the clip of the French exit itself – allons-y! – self-aware, self-sufficient, in control, in touch.
– Caroline Knox

Elisa Gabbert’s bold, confident, and unwavering poems pack a punch with every ending. They careen, dip and reverse. “It wants to keep / running forever, but / it can’t stop stopping,” she writes. Just when I think I want one of Gabbert’s poems to go on forever, it screeches to a halt, but it is the perfect halt. This is not easy to do, but Gabbert has mastered the art of making a poem.
– Noelle Kocot

Elisa Gabbert is the author of the chapbooks Thanks for Sending the Engine from Kitchen Press, and, with Kathleen Rooney, That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths), a collaborative collection. She is the poetry editor of Absent and currently works at a software startup in downtown Boston. She blogs at The French Exit.