Lisa Rogal : la belle indifference


la belle indifference exposes and inverts the conflict of desire, questioning the basis of want, and conceding the impracticality of the self. Rogal’s poems capture an inner auto-correcting at play in a boldly contemplative voice with overarching homages to Emily Dickinson that seal the work’s paradoxical balance of reservation and avowal. The false enticement of fantasy rings true, providing “the usual mode / to construct / a scene,” and quickly imploding.

— Emily Toder


This is a book about body in space, a body in space, perhaps a female body in space, perhaps a female’s body in space. It’s a work of art that seeks a space and is making space for this body that is pre-female, sub-female and supra-female and female-loving and desire-loving and careful and close female-desire-mind observing of that which is desire and that what is done to desire in the female body, to the female’s body. I want to say loudly that when I read la belle indifference I didn’t feel indifferent, I felt very elated and happy. I want to say that this is also a study of clouds. 

— Rachel Levitsky


Lisa Rogal’s poems trace the distances between bodies, the fantasy of intimacy and the actual fact of closeness, all the unguarded feelings and mixed signals, the strangers who stare at you on the street and you look back and then look away, all the frozen moments when nothing (and everything) happens. “You can’t know what you want,” she writes, “when something’s being given to you,” and that’s true whenever something is being offered (whether you want it or not).  The momentum in Rogal’s poems leads her forward and back to a place that may or may not exist, and in the end might sweep her out to sea, but she is never unwilling to risk everything to get there. The poetics of total attention are on display here for your pleasure.

— Lewis Warsh


Paperback. 92 pages. ISBN: 978-1-950055-07-4

Lisa Rogal is a poet and fiction writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of Feed Me Weird Things (Ugly Duckling Presse), Morning Ritual (United Artists Books), and The New Realities (Third Floor Apartment Press). Her recent writing has been published in The Recluse, Elderly, and Visceral Brooklyn. A graduate of the MFA program at Long Island University, Lisa teaches writing at The City College of New York.

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