One Illuminated Letter of Being, Donald Platt’s new collection of thirty-two heart-wrenching poems, is oriented around the loss of his mother—itself a disorienting experience, for anyone—that anticipates her death, reconciles itself to it, and resumes living, in a new way.
In me a man busted to pieces sinks / —like shrapnel—clear-through to bone. / I pull out one piece at a time—
Sounds like a species of coral, / a flute carved from animal bone.
My mother has a box. One day she will pass it down to me because mothers are supposed to give things to their daughters. But I don’t want it.
From the Blakean embrace of the childhood imagination, to examining aging and death, to the profound undertone of uniting generations, William Trowbridge’s seventh collection, Vanishing Point, published by Red Hen Press in 2017, is a monumental testament to the circle of life in the twentieth century.
Take anything that stands beyond your ghostlike apparatus, / crenellated brain, the grasping neurons. / we might understand of understanding.
James Hoch reviews two new collections from Horsethief Books, Elizabeth Scanlon’s LONESOME GNOSIS, and Michael Bazzett’s OUR LANDS ARE NOT SO DIFFERENT
Yolanda, the security guard, sat in a tiny chair behind a school desk at the entrance of the rundown building on West 181st Street that served as headquarters for The District offices. An enormous woman with breasts the size of throw pillows straining the coarse blue fabric of her uniform, she wore her hair pulled up on top of her head in a tight bun; the style fit the determined expression carved into the cool black marble of her face. She hated her job, and probably was surly to everyone, but Mimi took it personally, because Mimi took everything personally.
I thought talking politics with the manager at the Salt Cavern would be safe—I mean, salt therapy much? But, turns out, Gary had been held up when he worked as a liquor store cashier and had been backing gun rights legislation by way of NRA donations and bumper sticker activism ever since.