Unclean Thoughts

Written by Leah LeMoine Category: Arts Issue: February 2017
Group Free

“Everything touches everything,” Rosemarie Dombrowski writes in The Philosophy of Unclean Things (Finishing Line Press, $19.99). “Inanimate objects are learning what it means to make contact.” In her latest collection of poetry, the Arizona State University lecturer and founder of Rinky Dink Press demonstrates her ability to make fiercely intimate contact – with readers and subjects – and why she was selected as Phoenix’s inaugural poet laureate in 2016. Meditating on universal themes like love, death and memory along with personal obsessions including environmental issues, fatalism, germaphobia, expatriation and etymology, Dombrowski finds the beauty in the overlooked, the catastrophic and the repulsive. “The dead bird is a kind of song,” she writes in the opening poem. Not since Hitchcock have birds been this eerily captivating.

— Leah LeMoine