H. and I were talking the other day about how there's sexy, gritty but still fairly picturesque sex, and then there's the deeper, uglier, messier, sexier (?), no-one-should-see-this, this is NOT comely sex. If you apply this to books, Richard Siken's Crush might gently tap at the boundaries of the first; Lara Glenum's The Hounds of No squats firmly in the farthest reach of the second, baring its teeth. Words that aren't in the book but that remind me of it: lance, boil, pustule, pestilence, buboe, afterbirth. Things I kind of expected the pages to do while I was reading the book: drip blood, ooze animal fat. Hounds is hypnotic in the way that Mark Z. Danielewski's novel House of Leaves is--in that when you close it, it still looks like it might keep talking to you, leaking into your hours, and you want to tie it up with rope and store it far away from your bed.
Hounds is also brilliant, dazzling, and important--one of the most 'important' poetry debuts of 2005, I think (actually, I think the most). Intelligent, thorough, and nicely-developed takes (if you like that kind of thing [grin]) on Glenum's book include Jasper Bernes's review in Jacket 29 and Kirsten Kaschock's review in H_NGM_N, #4.