Poetry. LGBT Studies. COOL LIMBO is a series of dazzling portraits that are accessible yet complex, hilarious yet poignant, down-to-earth yet ethereal. Like its cover, which features the title poem's sexy 70s chick lounging--stoned--by the pool (as she neglects the water-winged kids she's supposed to be babysitting), the book is the best kind of party--unofficial, unpretentious, and unabashed. And everyone's there "on plastic lawn furniture...with six packs and lit cigarettes: " From Liz Taylor, Gertrude Stein, and The Golden Girls, to Orpheus, Vanity Smurf, and Stevie Nicks. Poem after poem, these figures somehow mingle with the poet, in the not-so-still life studies of his boisterous family and friends, building a narrative about the departure from suburbia to the big city (from the ghost of a boy to a realized though sometimes-haunted man)--all while commenting on, as Elaine Equi puts it, the "constantly shifting sexual codes" assigned to men and women alike. Few places can you find a poem about a gay porn star that concerns itself with the meaning of objectivity and art just pages after a charged feminist manifesto called "If Hello Kitty Had a Mouth." But beyond that colorful variety of subject and theme, not to mention his mastery of dialogue and what Mark Bibbins calls "devious one-liners," what's most remarkable about this poet in his debut collection is his ability to confront the serious and painful while never abandoning his sharp sense of humor and playful spirit.