Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Rachel Rose

Rachel Rose, it might be said, inherited elements of her formidable character
From our little community which she left as a fearless five year old barefoot
Daredevil. Her stepfather wrote poems, the fathers of some of her playmates
Were poets and now that she's a parent and poet herself, she's writing some
Of the most vivid poems of her generation, poems so intense they're nearly
Scary, easily passing emily dickinson's test of poetry q.v. making the hair on
The back of your neck stand up.
Elsewhere I've praised her first book, Giving My Body to Science, to the sky.
I'm happy to see, McClelland & Stewart published her second book Notes on
Arrival and Departure. Some of the personal narratives here are even more
Intense(if that's possible, nearly uncanny, the electricity passes from her to
You without diminishment. The documentary narratives are strong occasionally
Repulsive but more detached. In our age of social amnesia these might be
Considered pedagogical in their intent hoping to help us remember this
horrifying history we'd rather forget.
Lots of affection in the aggregat, esp my own fave:


It has all gone according to plan
mine, made when I was ten. My mother divorced the man
who came to take the place of my father

everytime we drove off in her cold car
I held my breath, hoping we'd go so far
We couldn't go home please Mum, I can make you happy

By the time she'd left I'd long since moved out west
And learned to love him more, or her less
Now she comes to visit me alone, stays for a week,

Hides pots in unexpected places, cooks with too much fat
He comes for a single night, hangs up his coat and hat
And lifts his step-grandson. His face has softened with defeat,

As has her own. Each in turn asks me for news of the other
And I tell them the parts that hurt - devious daughter
The parts that prove they were right to part

But finally my intentions are pure I do not tell them how
Between her visit and his I went down
With my son on one arm, clean sheets on the other, intending

To change the bed, but the smell of the roses from the lotion my mother wears
Drifted like a rainstorm up the stairs
And I turned,

Leaving the bed as it was, awaiting his arrival
Her scent of roses a reproachful perfume, a rival
For his dreamtime, a thorn

Or perhaps the scent became the dream itself bouquet
Of ivory wedding.roses dried upon a shelf

No comments:


the sweetest little song
his heart this big

Hornby Island by Goh Poh Seng (for Billy Little, who shared loved spots and fond friends)

Here on the headland by Downe's Point we case dreams to rise synchronous with eagles and gulls, all make-believe, egocentric, near to fanatical, else aim true to roam deep with Leviathan in the ocean's mind, free from perplexities and profundities such as bind the scheduled self Here is the arbutus grove whose trunks and branches tighten like nerves, twisted witnesses, victims of shapely winds which blow in always unseen, sweet from the south or coming cold from the north, from every direction the prevailing force of nature Wish I could emulate the arbutus slough off my thin skin as easily as these natives trees their bark from abrasion, disdain or design, unveiling the bare beauty of strong, hard wood beneath Over on Fossil Bay the rot of herring roe strewn amongst broken clam shells, dead crabs on dirty grey sand, exposed bedrock, thickened the morning air, but gave no cause for bereavement: these millions of botched birthings! And none also for the Salish, no open lamentation for a race almost obliterated without trace from their native habitat save a few totems, some evidences of middens, a score of petroglyphs of their guardian spirits carved a thousand years ago on smooth flat rock by the shore, of killer whales, Leviathans again, to guide their hunts, the destiny of their tribe. Having retraced them gently with finger tips, they now guide mine.

Halo by Patrick Herron (for Billy Little)

half of love plus half of half is halo and I don't believe in angels, no.