May 5, 2011 § 3 Comments
From poem to poem, Danica Colic’s subjects in “Sufficience” speak in the same voice. They seem to be the same spirit, though sometimes they inhabit different homes, different times, different bodies. Thus, in their symmetry and common tone it is the asymmetries that amplify one another.
The book begins with a sleepy cycle entitled “The Dreamhouse,” which centers on a mother observing both her new suburban home and her young family as each of them grows old. The details are domestic, solitary, sweet, but not saccharine. She watches her children in a “Halo of blue / when they read by flashlight / beneath the chenille.” And throughout she exhibits a sufficiency, mundane, but whole: “An even drip of water in the sink, / the windows shut; not one shadow / unaccounted for, no / casing less than flush.” As the poem goes on, the voice remains calm even as the house begins to settle, ruin— “Rust blooming / on the studs.” She is calm because the family still sleeps in comfort as she listens to them somniloquize into the night, burbling in comfort, normalcy.
May 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
In “First Home,” a poem from Michelle Chan Brown’s The Clever Decoys, a couple attempts to find tranquility beneath a new roof. Brown employs terse two line stanzas and staccato sentences: “The wallpaper gave us cancer,” “Bake a pie and throw it,” divulging dismal glimmers into this dream gone awry. She peppers this with aphorisms such as “We feel complete,” “Just what we’re looking for,” and “You, me, no need for company,” a call to keep the chin up, but which only deepens the depths of despair, exposing the ingratiating lies we tell ourselves in hopes of suppressing the inevitable. “Close on it. It’s falling down.” « Read the rest of this entry »