braying into the kerr jar

whispery her eye the flight

Review of caroline brooke morrell’s Whispery her eye the flight

Does poetry matter? Americans have been asking this for years and the only answer we’ve seemed to agree upon is only when it sells.

Caroline Brooke Morrell is a dangerous domestic: a poet whose kitchen references and occasionally confessional pitch (“numerous messengers/came midriff”) is far from disconnected to an outer world containing “fields of drones” where frail humanity lopes toward “our bright extinction.”

She creates her own hum, a poetry of mythical prepositions, “knit of pearls, “waist of heat,” “roam of daughters,” “fist of whales,” “flinch of breath” and a mule “with silos of rubies.”

Organic and inorganic matter dance, intermarry, with “faxes clucking,”mouthparts zipping and cindered like gold.”

If you go to a poem, wanting to carry away its meaning on a stick, you may be disappointed. “Rose paws sleep in gully violets…” I couldn’t tell you.  “Fenugreek”, a peppermint field, “savory this and that.” “Rooster, cardamom and stitches/” “Pigeonholed he could have just colored it in”

But I’m glad she doesn’t.

with prizes like lemons from her lemon tree

dreams for my children

As I was writing this, my friend Christin reminded me to let you know that there’s something you can do to help. This isn’t just another political feel-bad story. So I’m going to put it right here in the beginning, a link to a petition to help save family literacy programs in the state of California, particularly here in Oakland. And if you want to know more, keep reading.

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for the holiday: feed an artist….suggestions welcome

maria quiles and rory cloud

They say great artists’ merits are never really acknowledged in their lifetimes, but maybe this holiday we could make an exception and instead of supporting Big Box stores or blah malls, see if we can throw a few crumbs toward working writers, musicians and painters.

If anyone reading this has a suggestion of someone they know making or creating arts, crafts, books…please leave your suggestions in the comment section. I’d love to hear them.

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on lavalle’s the ecstatic

“Her professionalism aside, Nabisase’s victory was rigged by an endomorph and a goblin standing in crabgrass, and she would never know it. There are so many lives decided in this way.”

The Ecstatic follows the messy story of a big man in a purple suit who likes to clean; an ivy league dropout from a family of crazies who writes his first book as an encyclopedia of horror film titled, “Killing is my business.”

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from the author of the noonday demon….

Intrigued by Andrew Solomon’s moving new book about the complexity of parental relationships. Haunted particularly by the stories of two women who kept children conceived in rape, one of whom was able to ultimately build a more positive relationship with her child and grandchild, and the other who admitted that each time her child reached toward her for a hug, she felt like she was experiencing a thousand razor blades scraping against her skin.

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