poems, Tanya Olson
YesYes Books, 2019
I have been a few weeks now with Tanya Olson’s Stay and what can I say in the radiance of how deeply it disappears but reader, read, and reader, remain. Here the boat, here the plane. Here the footprint in a bird. Here the paper doll as called to its scissored absence. Here a land to which awe is an only child, both parental and curious, not abandoned nor safe. It is here that all the letters, beyond the ones you see, go silent. Olson uses rhythm as punctuation, and capitalization as a bread crumb for the unstarred wayward. How earthen, how other, how locally sublime.
This storytelling arrives as a void burdened by abyss, and this verse adopts circle as the balefire of ghost. To move is lonely, and to move a crowd is lonelier. Dear audience, says this work, some buttons were born pressed.
Whether identity is the missing musical chair or the stolen, Olson knows when to sing and when to hum along while doing the self-imposed work of space given. Our means of transport, like the poems in Stay, do not depart.
reflection by Barton Smock
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