Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Clare Songbirds Publishing House.
"Caseyrenée Lopez’s heretic bastard revels in a poetry enriched by its source text, not harnessed by it. Lopez has crafted a world both opulent and grim: “golden domes…[and] gilt cages” juxtapose “silent monuments” and together breathe a vampiric ethos. Blood is “necessary” in Lopez’s world: a sacrifice and a promise of eternity, a scrim of violence soaking the city. The “I” appears as desperate in their pursuit to become “a minor god,” “a public sacrifice,” and eternal. Here, god is both present and cruel, Old Testament, demanding offerings, offering sanctuary in the forms of stone architecture, altars, and the omnipresent lurk of headstones. Death breathes down the throat of the speaker, “a universal tongue / dark portals of gleaming coral,” and renders the dark spectacularly alive, “a peacock made of blood.” In a voice both scorned and ethereally queer, heretic bastard is a love song to the unseen. These little poems labor towards a form of memory scorched into the body, the visceral and sensual memory of luster and coercion, the spot you can never scrub out. Lopez has discovered this place and beckons for us to join them."
"Caseyrenée Lopez has created something lavish and triumphant in heretic bastard. I feel lucky to bask in the luxury of “vehement passion and impossible / nectar,” one doomed romance extracted from another. This work holds the security that defines outstanding poetry, its cohesive navigation and excellent crafting. I do not have to ask you to read and reread heretic bastard, this striking book demands it."
"In Caseyrenée Lopez’s heretic bastard, the speaker “prance[s], fragile” under cobalt skies, “caught by the throat.” Troubling the tenuous line between fear, surrender, and desire, Lopez gives us “jeweled rings, spider’s web, […] a peacock made of blood” in this gothic collection teeming with sultry images and figures that step from the shadows. “i am the wild lands,” this collection declares, and indeed, readers are invited on a hypnotic journey to a landscape where “fiery orange light” dazzles and “color inundate[s]” them."