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Good Want

Good Want

By Domenica Martinello
Categories: Poetry
Paperback : 9781552454824, 112 pages, May 2024
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781770568099, 112 pages, May 2024
Ebook (PDF) : 9781770568105, 112 pages, May 2024

What if poetry and prayer are the same: intimate and inconclusive, hopeful and useless, a private communion that hooks you to the thrashing, imperfect world?

Good Want entertains the notion that perhaps virtue is a myth that’s outgrown its uses. 

Exploring the value and shame ascribed to our desires both silly and serious – artistic, superficial, spiritual, relational – these poems grapple with deeply rooted questions: How can there be a relationship between goodness and godliness, if god is a character with shifting allegiances and priorities? Is clarity worth the pain of redefining your experience of the world? Is privacy the same as secrecy the same as deceit? Each caveat becomes a prayer, ritual, invocation, dream, or confession, requiring a blind faith that feels increasingly more impossible to sustain. 

Good Want looks inward, at once both sincere and tongue-in-cheek, to confront the hum of class and intergenerational trauma. Playing with and deconstructing received notions of ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ and ‘god,’ these poems open up a series of further possibilities: empathy for difficult people, acceptance of our difficult selves, and joy in every difficult thing.

"These are lush, provocative poems that luxuriate in unexpected detail while examining how economic precarity shapes both shame and desire. Firmly rooted in the working class, Martinello explores the hunger we inherit from our ancestors, what it means to indulge from a position of bottomless want, and to 'Waste not your wanting.' With impressive range, a sense of humor, and entrancing musicality, Good Want is a celebration of the gluttony of girlhood, the paradoxes of faith, and everyday pleasures of a “small, specific life.”
Cassidy McFadzean, author of Crying Dress

"Good Want is a baroque painting of Dutch aristocracy, but all the subjects’ garments are secretly from Walmart. I mean this in the best way. Each poem cracks me open and out shines a never-before-seen shade of light." – Shy Watson, author of Cheap Yellow

"Sometimes the confessor reckons with the confessional. In Good Want, it's a wracking and lucky sometimes, full of piss and vinegar, and one that finds Domenica Martinello performing the wonderment, the depth and push and pull, between what there is to reveal and what each revelation ruptures or binds. Happily, sadly, the poet scours a life lived and unearths inheritances, burdens, and selves destined for and not for the telling. And tells them brilliantly as she pleases."  – D.M. Bradford, author of Bottom Rail on Top


"Martinello’s poems in Good Want offer an oratory, a lyric less of performance than as preached from only slightly above, writing her sharp strikes, crafted lines and disorienting wisdoms clear-eyed and gestural; hers is a craft that is obvious, of carved and burnished steel." – rob mclennan, The Woodlot