Nothing substantive to say on my way out the door to NYC (where Emily's visiting friends), but I do want to put in another early advance plug for Sarah Gridley's new book Weather Eye Open, which I managed to get a copy of from the UC booth even though it's not officially available until April. I've raved about her work beforefor years, really (we were cameradoes at U. Montana)but this book delivers on her earlier promise and then some. Lyric intensity of the first order, with a keenly detailed eroticism haloed by melancholy, like a more saintly and sensual Sebaldsung in the key of pastoral, too. I will take the liberty of quoting one of my immediate favorites that I read on the train coming home last nightdamn hard to choose between poems facing each other in the first section, "The Body Is Placed, but the Spirit Is Emigrant" or "Rus in Urbe." The precise incongruities of the first offer more immediate pleasures; the second cuts deeper. I'll go with the second:
Rus in Urbe
liar, an inasmuch reserver of the truth, perhaps
you too are a hoarder. Perhaps no higher than a worm
spinning your march of raw silk shrouds.
The clock is inflicting more points
than a cruse of solar marigolds. Rain is unveiling
your favorite inventory. Let no one blame you. Into well's
moss-lit emporium, lower your private damages.
Look softly: Neptune's methane wreath
sets no red loose. Finished seconds sculpt the hour a shell
of when it was. Let winnd come up to rusk the cells, rake since demolished
crowns and keels. Impalpable shepherd
you have won: less crowd
Sarah will be teaching for a semester at Iowa this spring, I believe. Lucky, lucky Iowans.
Right. Off to New York. Will maybe post once more before the year turns over.