Published in 2014 by the nascent Gunpowder Press (where Chryss later became co-editor), Mouth & Fruit is Chryss Yost’s first full-length volume of poems.
Mouth & Fruit—what a hearty debut! If ever there lived a hands-on poet, her name is Chryss Yost. Wired with feeling and touch, reverie and thought, anger and hunger, these sleek poems dart, dive, sizzle, and sometimes sting. The subtle California sea the gifted poet swims and feeds upon (and feeds) feels as vast as her appetite for life. Birth, death, growth, horticulture, baking, dining, mothering, love, lust; the inseparable spiritual and sensual realms—Chryss Yost’s lush language and imagery ferry us to each destination for keeps, no been-there-done that.
—Al Young, California Poet Laureate Emeritus
Chryss Yost’s poems are like the coastal light of California, so brightly made you almost miss the grief between the lines. “I sit on your patio, alone,” she writes. “My empty glass as heavy as a gun, / My satin straps and clasps not yet undone.” She admits the shadow self into the western glow, which makes it truer, more fully lived. There’s a classical clarity in lines like dry white wine: “We are renewed, to wonder which came first: / that flow of water or this endless thirst?” This is poetry of warm intelligence, sensuality and grace. A marvelous debut.