book announcement / Sarah Sarai ~ That Strapless Bra in Heaven ~ (Kelsay Books)

Please check out former contributor Sarah Sarai’s new collection That Strapless Bra in Heaven:

That Strapless Bra in Heaven


“If it is to be of any value / a story will be misunderstood” – that’s Sarah Sarai in The Strapless Bra in Heaven. A visionary who can’t quite keep a straight face, a prophet quicker to laughter than judgment, Sarai is a virtuoso of the one-liner – “too much is as it seems” – but she works with a vast cultural canvas, and sorrow and a thirst for the real underlie, the scintillating eloquence. Dante’s journey is a dream, Stalin’s famine never ends, Dido weeps in the city she built, humans wander through a world of staggering beauty never quite knowing how to love each other: “What do monkeys worry about? / Our imaginations grown dim?” The Strapless Bra in Heaven is a roller coaster, but it’s grounded in what we once called wisdom. Sarai’s new book is a thrilling read.

D. Nurkse, author of Love in the Last Days: After Tristan and Iseult


Sarah Sarai is the author of the poetry collections The Future Is Happy (BlazeVOX[books]) and Geographies of Soul and Taffeta (Indolent Books). An independent editor in New York, she holds an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.


Sarah Sarai, work in {isacoustic*}:

person Sarah Sarai, three poems

Sarah Sarai’s poems are in Queen Mob’s Tea House, Posit, Susan The Journal, The Collagist, Barrow Street, Sensitive Skin, Painted Bride Quarterly, Minnesota Review, Mississippi Review, Boston Review and other journals; in Geographies of Soul and Taffeta (Indolent Books); The Future is Happy (BlazeVOX); and in anthologies including Like a Fat Gold Watch: Meditations on Sylvia Plath and Living and Transition: Poems in the Aftermath. She lives in New York City.



I gave her backbone.
I told her, “You’re a cool cat.”

She said, “I wear my heart on my ankle,
And my head has burst into bloom.”

“You have become a flesh-garden flower.”
I did not warn her of the cold.

Or how the world will cut and encase you
Until you wither.

You cannot dress up an ugly truth,
and a naked body does not need more.



Her life, a proper noun till
the improper ones.
The gay bar where.
The dyke pool hall when.
That demand for balance
way before anyone cared.
Astronomical oppositions ravaging
her astronomical chart.
Yup/Nope Lady/Tiger
Half-empty/and Emptier.
Ping-ponged, sling shot,
she is a wars-of-the-universe re-enactor.
The rock, hard place.
That suburban desert between.
She pities not-knowers in crinoline
nervous to be near, to be
her. Fearful of association’s challenge.
Enter the lesser halves.
The husbands swish-shoe
appalled by strength and shamed by
wealth, they. She didn’t
write the script she revises.
Articles of a sound constitution
see her into middle age as strong in
her belief we are all cross-dressing.



Did Jesus Christ love himself?
Jesus who spent all of
forty days and forty nights
where pilgrims and the Prophet,
praise his name, prayed?

Jesus who saw god, the
one, the mountain burning,
the desert wandering,
the god who must transform
for the world to.

We all resist temptation.
We’d all be happy or
dead if we didn’t.

(Mom died, a blessing.
She was eighty-six and
willful like us.)

Mary prays when there’s
an amber alert.
I touch her foot to conquer
a polychrome snake’s faded slither.