You will get to the end of ROMANCE OR THE END in an hour, every sparse word surrounded by a vast space on the page imbibed with a thrilling confidence in every word’s sting, and you’ll turn it back to the beginning to see the vastness transform into something like healing, and it’ll take days, weeks, months, lifetimes to tease it all out.— Luis
"This book takes me right back to the Carnage Years―yours, too―sacrificed to love. If only I, you, had possessed Elaine Kahn's wisdom and wit. These poems are lacerating, coy, bloody, and so true I wanted to memorize lines from them." ―Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room and The Flamethrowers
Romance or The End takes up the tools of romantic narrative in order to perform the rupture between self and story that occurs at the onset of trauma. Using known and pathologized literary arcs, Elaine Kahn unspools the fundamental instability of truth, love, and language to create an experiential portrait of narrative's power to both disfigure and restore.
ROMANCE or THE END
This is a book about love.
And it is a book about lies.
Love can be a lie, but it is also always true.
This is a book about truth.
This is a book about story.
There is no such thing as a true story and so there are no stories in this book.
Without a story, there is separation.
This is a book about separation.
Everything is a story. Even the truth.
There is nothing truer in this world than the lie of love.