The poem’s voices are wry but literate, shot thru with allusion – not as educational showing-off, but in the easy manner of someone deeply familiar & comfortable with the most memorable forms into which human thought has been cast. I read this book in a headlong rush, enchanted with its calm, beautiful, but sometimes disturbing and desperate music. She: “You walk as through a formal garden, an inner music cadencing your steps, and all paths intersect. Whereas I shlepp on swollen feet, arms scratched by perhaps imagined brambles, through a wilderness where roads disappear, where even riverbeds wander. And the point vanishes.” He: “You think you are taking a clean sheet of paper, and it’s already covered with signs, illegible, as by a child’s hand.” She: “I always want to hear the sirens, albeit tied to the mast, but I fear becoming the sailor with ears plugged, just plugging away at the oar.”
What if all our thinking, she says, were a search through underbrush and mud. Trying to decipher the forest without artificial light. The rustlings of language give us the illusion of a deeper dimension. But our equations don’t net the unknown quantity. We’re only as good as our words.
And what can writing not be compared to? she asks. Having a ball? A child growing from your long-tailed sperm? A boatload of foreigners climbing the Statue of Liberty, waving flags? The price of deciphering seems to be transparency, also called fainting. The wings of the dragonfly are beautiful, but the body is not itself. I want the missing meat, bone, metabolisms and ratios of heat and hunger. At the price of windows muddied with fingerprints.