The steeds bear us upslope.We reach the muddy cleftbetween Maroon Bellsand Crested Butte, gnawingon caribou and warmedliver of once noble elk.
Maroon Bells? Crested Butte?
The poems are organized into four numbered sections. I find the second most wearying. The poems in it have titles like "Preposition" and "Pronoun/Punctuation." "Conjunctions" begins:
Furthermore, until butdethrones howeverwhile nevertheless pilotssince out of that'satmosphere . . .
This is the kind of poem a bright middle-schooler, bored during a grammar lesson, might scribble on the back of a worksheet. At times, the wordplay, combined with a strong evocation of situation, is urgent and direct, as in the opening of "Breathe When I Expire":
the here is the why of summer this sentimental hole wedgedbetween Paris Provence and a labored weddingremoved from the when of death and rain the where of a scream and a white facethe how of the gash the blue bone and the fall into the pillow
but, much more often, the wordplay seems decorative, even obstructive. When the poet drops the mannerism, and writes with a plain honesty, her little scenes resonate beyond their chosen confines.
GirlhoodAlone in the basementhiding naked behindthe washing machine,I spied on my fatherlooking for his ironedshirt, watched tworepairmen work on thefurnace and heardanother flush out thedrains.XXXXXGirl, soundless,pinned between the hot-water hookup and theAC adaptor on an ever-lasting winter morning.