Honky-tonk tunes, swinging & searing verses, meditative narratives,
and catalogues of favoured things (including what lovers bring — or leave behind),
all merge to make Kissing Keeps Us Afloat a book for tongues and lips to sing.
MacFayden knows painting and music, and she loves words and women. The
result is art without limit, craft without regret, and poetry that faces trauma and
embraces the erotic.
MacFayden tells us, “some days,” a poet “will swagger home with roses; / some days, she will stagger home with thorns.”
Because her heart and mind are open to hurts and salves, the poet both suffers and exults. She sets her eyes — and sights — directly on bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, beaches, forest glades, motels, streets, and all the passion plays and comedies enacted in these places. Thus, she shows us that home is where the lover is, and home is where love is born, “hidden … in mitochondrial strands” or even in “the intimate seams of some underthings.”
MacFayden’s poetry is both red-hot and cool-blue, white lies and film noir, memory and truth. In the supposed mundane, she shows us, transcendence awaits.
— George Elliott Clarke