Deborah Landau simultaneously signals these two conceits—victory over decay and the ultimate victory of decay ... Landau creates an ossuary in miniature: two skeletons per page, with each brief poem studded with death references ... These poems are conversational memento mori, sprinkled with chatty, O’Haraesque bursts right out the gate ... The surprising line breaks and enjambment teeter asymmetrically to exhilarating effect ... One pleasure of Skeletons is watching Landau switch modes of representation to describe sex.
Landau’s fifth collection takes a wry and realistic look at the scale of a life ... Most striking is the mouthfeel of the poems, whether arid or salivating, as in a poem about cherries ... Skeletons is clever, pragmatic, and, finally, ecstatic about 'this bag of bones' we’re bound to.