Review – ‘Good Morning To Everyone Except Men Who Name Their Dogs Zeus’ by Lannie Stabile

I received a copy of this book from the author.

This book is a blend of righteous female grief and rage. Lannie Stabile frames issues of consent, femininity and value through the lens of Greek mythology, specifically around the ‘father’ Zeus whose reputed actions were anything but fatherly. Interspersed with these mythical examinations of male gaze and behaviour are stories of the contemporary; serving to demonstrate how little has changed. 

Stabile grieves what women have lost at the hands of men; their autonomy over their own bodies, their sense of their own self-worth, their ability to feel safe in places that should be, and their right to speak out against these transgressions and be believed. There is a delicate despair in the poems that speak to this experience. Progress, it seems, is superficial at best and non-existent at worst. Even after all this time, Lannie suggests, and even when such loss is deemed untenable, it continues unabated.

The language Stabile uses in this book is incredible. She weaves seamlessly between describing the ancient and modern, using contemporary phrasing to describe events of myth in ways that jar because of their accuracy. Her wordplay – particularly the use of the double entendre – is dagger sharp. ‘God Help Us, Another Douchebag Has Named His Dog Zeus’ is an excellent example of this:
“and the puppy swells
into full-grown mutt

who rejects commands
like wait and no

but will roll over
an unconscious body

behind a dumpster
and come

The rage in these pages is palpable. Lannie describes the steps women are forced to take for their own safety, and the ways in which patriarchy consistently undermines and dismisses them. She perfectly frames the contrast with the two poems about worst case scenario. It immediately brings to mind the quote from Margaret Atwood: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” If you are a feminist, this book will make you angry. And you should be.

Stabile’s Zeus seems to fear only one thing – being held accountable. And to this, she says ‘enough’.

Good Morning To Everyone Except Men Who Name Their Dogs Zeus is available now from Cephalo Press.

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