{ As One Fire Consumes Another – poems – John Sibley Williams }

As One Fire Consumes Another
poems, John Sibley Williams
Orison Books, 2019

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John Sibley Williams is a poet who seemingly writes from memory those invisible psalms that cast language as a font and word as the codename of one who’s kept a diary of the search for yours.  As such, the collection As One Fire Consumes Another knows what to say after it says it while liberating from footnote how the old might guide the current into outlining those shapes bent on being dumbstruck by the new .  No findable thing need make a sound and the already lit won’t court what glows. No toy beast misses its childhood master and if a pin drops it is heard only by the late soul who’s left tapping on  a calculator in the shadow of a cross.  Both instructional and sudden, intentional and evoked, these irreplaceably devoured poems gain ground in heaven by way of their broken earth and airbrush with a slow permanence the godspeed our yearning squanders.
 
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reflection by Barton Smock

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book is here:

As One Fire Consumes Another, poems by John Sibley Williams

{ Emily As Sometimes the Forest Wants the Fire – poems – Darren C. Demaree }

Emily As Sometimes the Forest Wants the Fire
poems, Darren C. Demaree
Harpoon Books 2019

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If god were here, above this pool in backyard Ohio, I think he’d write with wasp. I say this as the imagined part-owner of a disembodied worry as gifted to any who might look up from Darren C. Demaree’s Emily As Sometimes the Forest Wants the Fire and feel a sort of third-wheel holiness in the running of a blood that sobers itself alongside Demaree’s converging of absence with artifact. As partnership may absolve loneliness of secretly playing tag and as shadow makes a lost feast for long animals, Emily, like inclusion, is untouchable. Using simile as bait for metaphor, and metaphor to say in the same breath both pain and paint, this verse fishes compass from the ashes of emergence. These are love, or better yet, loved, poems, but no phrasing here brackets tenderness as a search engine. If it’s true that muse is a trapdoor, Demaree upends discovery and makes of minimalism the handprint that trespass uses to contextualize and de-center worship that it might erase the hand and lure from fantasy the have-not of an only dream.

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reflection by Barton Smock

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book is here:
https://www.harpoonreviewbooks.com/catalog/emily-as-sometimes-the-forest-wants-the-fire-by-darren-demaree

{ Banjo’s Inside Coyote – poems – Kelli Allen }

Banjo’s Inside Coyote
poems, Kelli Allen
C&R Press, 2018

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Verbose, strange, and woozily humble, Kelli Allen’s Banjo’s Inside Coyote crafts the hand you don’t write with and teaches one to read anything but it. How bold and earthly a move it is to make of verse an anti-inheritance and to re-other the romancing of those meek designs our art so often has on detail. These are poems made of city and of country, of salted star and of the left-footed river. Whether embodied beast or distant dust mite, they find with oddity a clarity enough to bring joy to a past joy. And as Allen so gingerly resurrects suddenness from its foregone surprise, you’ll want to double back might amnesia forget what it knows.

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reflection by Barton Smock

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book is here:

Banjo’s Inside Coyote

{ The Ghosts of Lost Animals – poems – Michelle Bonczek Evory }

The Ghosts of Lost Animals
poems, Michelle Bonczek Evory
Gunpowder Press, 2019

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Know, as you read Michelle Bonczek Evory’s The Ghosts of Lost Animals, that a tattoo gives up its bed for touch.  And know, after, that a rolling pin moves over a pawprint.  These poems are present, are ongoing, and call to account the short life of the summoned before.  As a whole, the work seems a travelogue for stillness, a pilgrimage to reclaim misdirection.  Absence has always been the ghost’s confessional, and Bonczek Evory makes each body- whether human or non, whether own or other, whether spirit or seedling- a church that place can enter.  It is deep, here, in light such as this that weighs our vision.  In utterance such as this that speaks shadow to an existence made of cessation.  And language has sent word- we may be lost, but we are also followed by what led us here.

 

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reflection by Barton Smock

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book is here:

The Ghosts of Lost Animals