Review by Lauren Rusk
Rooms and Their Airs
By Jody Gladding
Perfect Bound, 80 pages
Link to purchase
into my other
she slips free
all I name.
Which is not to say she’s left anything unfinished, only that the processes of creation are ongoing. So she takes the pigment into her mouth. She mixes it with her spit. She finds the reindeer’s flank, there, curving out from the wet stone. And through a bird’s bone, she blows.It’s her breath that fixes the line to the sweating limestone wall. Fixes it, but only in the play of shadow and light.
. . .
the early ones
this isn’t easy for them
the trout lily the wild oats
I was sowing then I didn’t even know
the boy hired to watch the building site
I showed him where the road ended
and the overgrown trail
I brought him to the open abandoned place
and lay downtrust trust say the limp wings of emerging moths
. . .
I lay downand no harm
came to me there
done . . .
. . .
oh my love remember
this time of molting crabs
when nothing can protect you
and nothing does.
the red ash
heat rising from us
so much shimmering that moon
no one could say it wasn’t living
no one could call it dust.
Air out the quilt. Down remembers
the wind.Remake the bed. Down remembers
Here, have a taste. I used to be less liberal.
I’d cling to them, think flesh of my flesh.
But where does that lead? Collapsed brown
mouths the deer won’t eat, come winter.
Better to harvest while a tree still knows
how blossoming’s a way to enter deep into
the world. Even though it leaves you
scatterbrained, a stubble of missed
connections. Or fruitful and worried
by every inching thing. Just look at them—
my sweet, sweet apples. Please eat
your fill. . . .
Beaver spreads her broad tail over the moon
all month she does this
she says work workher tail’s gray
from end to end
she slaps it hard she says
work workthe trees raise their bare arms
their empty hands
nothing for them to do nowbeaver gnaws away
from every side
what’s left of the day’s
pure heartwoodbeaver leaves it standing
little spool of light—
Lauren Rusk teaches writing and literature at Stanford University and has served as Poet in Residence at Stanford’s campus in Berlin. Her books include Pictures in the Firestorm (Plain View, 2007) and a critical study of autobiographical prose, The Life Writing of Otherness: Woolf, Baldwin, Kingston, and Winterson (Routledge, 2002, 2009). Her second collection of poems, in progress, is titled What Remains to Be Seen.