Ugly Duckling Presse

Blood Makes Me Faint but I Go for It
Blood Makes Me Faint but I Go for It

Natalie Lyalin

illustrated by Christopher Russell

Poetry | $14 $12
"Being inside these poems is like living with a few added dimensions." — Sampson Starkweather Natalie Lyalin's second book of poems concerns itself with the process of geographic and familial dislocation. The poems move from village to city to a window from which the speaker witnesses brief atrocities and occasional delights: A peasant starts a revolution; a neighbor abuses his wife. Space and time are folded and refolded, and time travel is possible. Generations are gathered across oceans and continents. Their stories are braided together, slightly exalted, somewhat mourned in a kind of melancholia. Lyalin attempts a beautification of brutality that is only possible in retrospect.Eastern European Poets Series #34.Excerpt ˇ


The more terrible things in the world sat by the window
They undulated, smoking away in wisps
I stepped out to toss some water
The neighbor, with his tongue out, wore a necklace of heads
The flowers bloomed early
I swiped the curtains closed
My heart stopped but did not blow up
It remained suspended, a weird meaty flower
surrounded by ribs that resemble tusks
Close ˆ

About the Author

Natalie Lyalin
Photo credit: Brandon Jones

Natalie Lyalin is the author of Pink & Hot Pink Habitat (Coconut Books, 2009), and a chapbook, Try A Little Time Travel (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). She is a part of the Agnes Fox Press editing collective and the cofounder and editor of Natural History Press. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches at The University of the Arts.

Other Contributors

Christopher Russell
Photo credit: Katie Raissian

Chris Russell lives in New York City and works in the field of deaf-blindness. He is the contributor illustrator for Stonecutter: A Journal of Art and Literature and his work has been featured in Higher Arc, Washington Square Review, Columbia Journal of Art and Literature and 92Y's Podium.  He is currently working on a graphic translation of Witold Gombrowicz's Cosmos, forthcoming from Siglio Press.

Advance Praise

"Thank goodness it is time to hear more from the spectacular Natalie Lyalin! Whether they threaten or offer tenderness, her poems declare themselves in strange, flat phrases, as if unaware of how much beauty and destruction they contain, until some moment of recognition occurs and they suddenly must exclaim 'Coffins are so tiny after dark!' This book is an unpredictable delight, written in the fantastic English of a poet who can see the language for all its gaps and glamour. You are going to love having these words in your head."—Heather Christle
"You don’t have a time machine? You’re in luck—like a weird kid in the woods trying to build a spaceship, Natalie Lyalin has created something beautiful, messy, and magical. This book is your time machine. Get in and travel to another world which is like this world, only here it’s dirty, tragic, funny, strange, mundane, eerie, ecstatic, familiar, and a little dangerous. Being inside these poems is like living with a few added dimensions: the one where you grow wings in the kitchen, or where language is a hammer you break in case of emergency—and there is always an emergency. In Lyalin's work, survival is at hand: sometimes it’s history, sometimes it's your self, and sometimes it’s just a time and place to wear sexy gold fangs in a lemon orchard and chase you around the trees."—Sampson Starkweather