Sunday, January 03, 2010

Seeing clearly

I was given, for Christmas, a copy of Chase Twichell's collection of poems 'Dog Language' a series which observe loss in particular the dying and death of her father. Very clear, well observed writing you can't look away. Here's 'Vestibule':
What etiquette holds us back
from more intimate speech,
especially now, at the end of the world?
Can’t we begin a conversation
here in the vestibule,
then gradually move it inside?
What holds us back
from saying things outright?
We’ve killed the earth.
Yet we speak of other things.
Our words should cauterize
all wounds to the truth.

And this section from an earlier poem in the collection 'Watertown':
Grandma had a hundred-year-old
jade tree on the piano.
I'm possessed by a need
to have one exactly like it--
coins of green water,
bark like elephant hide.
Hers had a glazed pot,
a stone turtle.
I want that turtle.
wanting something from down the ages which, maybe, is no more.
There's a review of the collection by the poet Matthew Thorburn. It is published in the UK by Bloodaxe

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