SURFACING by Annest Gwilym, UPDATED, (posts as Rosa Cruz here at ABC)
received the book friday, started reading, delayed by an hour my getting on the road to memphis for the weekend. 19 poems, typically terse, a hard-edge of pushing sounds, particularly internal, a guiding intelligence, stripped-back to her core. a couple of poems as examples, DEAD EYES OF MY STREET'S WINDOWS: strangers/move in for a year or two,/don't say hello,move on./...the rhythm of my neighbor's lives,/those strangers, vibrates through the walls/..condensed to a thump of bass,/a distortion of human voices--/the only ones i may hear for days/-- and then, ACROSS THE ROAD A HOUSE I WATCH,
where men come and go/stay an hour or so.../there are four some afternoons/she fakes orgasms like a pornstar/puts on a different carnival mask/to suit each customer/one day she's gone./
and on, DON'T LET GO, posted at abc, jagged-up rhythms, jagged-up sounds, both with an edge, and then the strong, echoing "don't let go/don't let go" to resoundingly conclude the poem. BASE NOTES, A WALK IN BLACK AND WHITE, and on to the title poem SURFACING, and BEACH POTTERY MOSAIC, also posted here at abc, and then one of my favorite poems in the book, and one i'd request Annest post at abc, TODAY BIRDSONG IS TURNED UP LOUD. i haven't done the book the justice i had wanted to but did get to mention it, and my admiration for a number of the fine, emotional poems that started as writing, became art. Annest is a compelling poet.
unhappy with what a spotty job i did trying to convey something of Annest's book, so, a late note or two. FOREVER-HOME: could quote most of the poem to advantage. another poem i wish Annest would post at abc. "My forest-home is the top of a tower/...The smell of offal, gravy and turnip soup/drifts up to my window. My hair curls/around me like a golden tide or noose,/...I am safe here,/she says...She's both cruel/and kind, real and imaginary./When she's here, night comes earlier,/released from her crow-feathered cloak./When she goes, the dawn chorus detonates./I am so lucky to have her./--
AT THE HOTEL FOR THE OFF-KILTER: the floor tilts one way, then another./ The nurses' station is a counter/where we queue for our keep-calms/and sweet-dreams, little half-deaths/to ease the white noise in our heads./--My heart beats sea-surged;/ I leak fear like a tap.../sink me into sleep, while life/continues to move inside me/quietly, like a river.
TODAY BIRDSONG IS TURNED UP LOUD: ....I picked wild strawberries on the/way to chapel and looked at mountains purple with/heather and distance from a bay window seat yes for nieces/growing strong as sunflowers and books i have yet to read/and poems i have yet to write and this too is written in/water but yes for now yes.