Two days late by one reckoning, nine days late by mine, but graciously accepted by the editor, I'm happy to say my review/response of the latest by (unnamed writer) is complete and submitted to (unnamed publisher).
(why the mystery? i haven't asked if it's okay to reveal details here *shrug*)
I wrote notes for myself during Christmas vacation and most of them made it into the review. The following, though, didn't fit into the max requested length, so I'm posting it here so's not to lose it in a pile of papers.
The beauty of the slinky as metaphor is simplicity.
Its circulinear shape lends itself to logical progression while illustrating the impulse to return, connect, come full circle, yet advance. At rest it is a humble circle, collapsed and dense. Each tangential concept touches directly or by association every other tangential concept along its edge.
Stretch the spiral, give it energy and it vibrates, oscillates, defines new spaces where none existed previously. To say the poetry series (unnamed) is a poetic slinky is reductive even as the two dimensional representation of the hypercube gives the view a false sense of understanding a universe with more than three dimensions, the illusion that time can be traced with a set of lines linked to a double parallelogram.
Yes, the images in this series build around a central narrative, yet also No because centrality is rendered irrelevant by the poems'recursive quality. There appear to be binaries present - the definition of one gender creating the role taken by the other. That is too easy, surface. Believing there is only one She and one He, like Adam and Eve, Land and Colonizer, Perpetrator and Victim. Power shifts with each turn confounding apparent meaning. The urge to create order and meaning strong, whereas relaxation and trust is called for to touch the coiled steel in motion. We look for the gravity, forgetting that it is always already, arbitrary but not meaningless.
But these are not questions. Wholeness, completeness begs the breaking open of questions.
The kite-eagle was really the wind
tired of moving between sky and sea.
Sie was the one who started the argument,
who made the sky hail stones upon the sea,
and the sea to throw forth mountains
toward the sky. Sie did not know jealousy
could be so strong even in those First Times.
But there was no going back
even after the islands were formed
and the sky withdrew, gathering up
the clouds like layers of crinoline
and the sea turned glassy and implacable.
The kite only meant to settle her talons
on something solid for once, instead
of sleeping unsteady dreams as the sun
chased the moon chased the sun through
day and star strewn night.
But even solid things change
and when sie heard the two banging
against the walls of their confinement
begging to be free, finally separate,
Sie questioned. Sie quested, no longer
sequestered. Strength and Beauty
emerged from that first breaking open
and with each query we do homage
to the wind for being impatient for change.