This Week, I Read Lannie Stabile: Little Masticated Darlings

Image Credit: Ehud Neuhaus via Unsplash

“You don’t say anything// You scour Google and drain its/troughs of news articles, obituaries, and book excerpts//You become obsessed with a spirit you didn’t know// But somehow know intimately, like a small end rib roast,” the speaker in Lannie Stabile’s chapbook of true crime poems, Little Masticated Darlings, says.

The book is about Stabile’s personal experience of finding a picture of herself as a toddler with a family friend who turned out to be a convicted serial killer. The book details the victims as well as how the experience affected Stabile and her brother.

It reflects the sense of fear that is prevalent during this day and age. There’s a definite intrigue which surrounds serial killers, and the damage that they cause. This isn’t a cautionary tale, and it’s also not a glorification of the killer, but instead, a reflection of what has been taken and destroyed.

“Maybe it doesn’t belong to my mother or my brother/Maybe it is only his & the boys’,” the speaker says at a particularly poignant moment. “The boys who grew stories green and lush/
from young throats & the man who stifled them.”

It might not have anything to do with the speaker, but she’s also upset by it. There’s a sense of security and innocence that has been lost in regards to her childhood. These poems are so incredibly human. The question that the collection seems to ask is, in the face of real horror, what do we do?

I’m a fan both poetry and true crime, so seeing them both combined in this way was really exciting. I highly recommend Little Masticated Darlings, which is available through Wild-Pressed Books, here:

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