by Rena Rosenwasser
2011, 72 pages
Rena Rosenwasser's latest book of poetry from Kelsey Street Press is a tours de force of story fragments whose lush layering of time, space, and consciousness provides a counterweight to the void that lies just beneath its smooth and textured surfaces. The poems are visually rich as the poet's eye leaps to land deftly on sights and sites that traverse the white space of the page and down. These experimental poems seduce us with their verbal architectures as the book transports the reader visually and graphically across the globe, through time to the present, from Perugia to Egypt to Manhattan, where historical details mesh with real time haptic experiences of cathedral architecture, Egyptian monuments, and urban corridors that ignite the "wow" effect of the poet's New York City childhood. Sparked by eros tempered by thought, the poet's experience of travel comes to us through her reading of Walt Whitman and Rem Koolhaas, her memories, real and imagined, and her walking, while taking care not to displace, the dust of the ancient world.
"This passionate psalm poem is a labyrinth inside a travelogue inside a dream." —Jane Miller