Another book by another poet I’d read about and seen recommended. I was in Politics & Prose, dropping off an order (they stock Lil’ Fishy onesies, if you’re looking for a cool present or outfit for an infant) and couldn’t help going to the poetry section and there, as if by some random magic, it was. Honestly, the odds of any particular book poetry, much less one you are looking for that is not by someone dead or someone named ‘Collins’ or ‘Merwin,’ are not that great, so this probably counts as a minor miracle. I saw minor, because I doubt the particular influence of the hand of God in this. So maybe not so much a miracle, at all, as a cool coincidence.
Even though I’m writing this later, I actually bought this not more than a few days after reading Cathy Linh Che’s Split. When I first leafed through some poems, I was actually a little disappointed and thought that I’d made a bit of a mistake. So I set it down and picked it up something like a week later.
During that week, it improved considerably. No, it didn’t hit me the way Split did, but neither of them hit me the way William Wordsworth’s Prelude did, so maybe that kind of apples to oranges comparison is not useful (though recurring themes of abuse make the two more recent collections more similar than, say, anything Wordsworth wrote).
Visceral and formally varied, stanzas and line indentations give some nice visual shape to the poems, though never at the expense of the words. She’s got a nice sense of humor and sneaking spirituality (rather like someone who has left a church as an adult, but was taken every Sunday as a child, so has the liturgies stamped on her brain).