Saturday, August 16, 2008

What I'm Reading: Weather Eye Open

With a new school year approaching, and a new computer needing a home on the desk, I've spent the last few days reorganizing my home office. In the process, I found a slip of paper with the title Weather Eye Open and author Sarah Gridley. (I'm in the habit of jotting titles/authors down on scraps of paper as I stumble across them. I suppose it is up to fate as to when and if I ever continue the journey of reading them.)

Having read only the first handful of poem in Gridley's book, I am already falling in love with her work. Her use of language is gymnastic; verbs, nouns, and adjectives sparking against each other in huge leaps of imagination.

Here's the opening of "Genealogy"

To ear, the shell recounts the ocean's holdings. To eye,
the book refigures pulse, spun-black signatures outlasting
guests of body.
      She locks it in
the top-most drawer. In sleep a bullfight
brights its gore inside her.

Here's the opening of "Wanting the Ten-Fingered Grasp of Things"

At this portion of the curve
where quartz is ground, the ocean brokers
broken wares. Energy is cursive, cold, and beautiful.

Basically, at this point, I want to type the full extent of each poem I have read. In some ways, I am surprised at how strongly I am receiving these poems. While I'm not a narrative poet, my poems usually show some tie to a sense of place, with a clear speakers, usually an I or a she moving through time and space. At lease in the first couple of sections of poems that I've read in Gridley's book, this doesn't seem to be the case. These poems are pure lyric, and I feel like I'm swimming through the language, awash in images and actions, making my own sense of the work.

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