In Holding Company, Major Jackson explores art, literature, and music as a kingdom, or an empire, a dark, seductive force in our lives. In an effort to understand desire, beauty, and love as transient anodynes to metaphysical loneliness, he invokes Constantine Cavafy, Pablo Neruda, Anna Akhmatova, and Dante Rossetti. from Jewel-Tongued The stillness of a lover s mouth assaulted me. I never wearied of anecdotes on the Commons, gesturing until I scattered myself into a luminance, shining over a city of women. Was I less human or more? I hear still my breathing echoing off their pillows. So many eyes like crushed flowers. Our fingers splayed over a bed s edge. We were blown away.