I'm at the beach! And reading goes hand-in-hand with warm winds and crashing waves, at least in my experience. I've read the excellent book of poems Hider Roser by Ben Mirov, which managed to make me laugh even with its dedication: "for I have no idea."
Being melanin-challenged, I have to do my most of vacationing slathered in SPF 50 or sitting underneath the stars. And the star gazing leads to a lot of questions about who/what/where/when and why we exist in the universe. This collection urged on this train of thought, with poems like "Cluster", as well as the title poem:
From "Hider Roser"
The water is beautiful and she allows youAt one point I was getting a bit freaked out, thinking how every plant, animal, hair follicle, and cheeto is made up of star stuff--the basic elemental ingredients of the universe--and life on Earth is the only thing sentient enough (as far as we know) to experience how these ingredients combine and interact. We're just a big assortment of atoms made up from stuff available on the planet. What was the spark...what caused the change, the evolution, that took that star stuff and made it into the first cell?
to put your arm around her.
Smell her ear, part of a star
that exploded when you were negative
10,000 years old.
In a few hours she is gone.
In four years, even goner
and Dean is telling you something about nothing
the sparrows in his tattoo
forever flying out of a rose
until Dean is dead.
Now this assortment of atoms is going to stop waxing philosophical and share some lines from Hider Roser. Of course via the one thing on Earth that doesn't consist of atoms: the internet.
Here are some favorite lines:
First line from "Containment Unit for Mysterious Green Vapor"
I shouldn't talk about myself that way.
From "You May Not Know This but in His Youth James Tate was Some Sort of Champion Swimmer!"
was something Christopher wrote
in an email and I pictured Jim
swimming through a cloud supported
by the power of my mind,
barely enough to keep a candle lit
yet somehow able to think of a hundred
From "One Hundred Poems from the Chinese"
Is there anything One Hundred Poems from the Chinese
can do for the broken toilet?
Probably, but neither you nor it can figure out what.
And yet, One Hundred Poems from the Chinese is there for you
like a moonbeam lighting
a little piece of the house.
From "Dove Life"
When you feel it
smother your face at night,
descend the staircase
to your basement, your workout bench
your shoebox full of photographs.
Or travel so far into yourself
when you arrive at the center
the ripcord is a wick
and you must use your teeth
to remove the plastic packaging
that surrounds your heart.
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