I’ve been obsessed with “Moonlight Mile” by the Rolling Stones lately. All things 70’s became highlighted for me this year. I was born in 1978 so maybe that’s it. But suddenly I am nostalgic for things comforting, for people who are reliable and for things relatable. My reading has been a bit scattered but I’m finding the same themes pervading; comforting, reliable, relatable. Joshua Beckman is one my favorite poets. His words are magic to me. I’m never sure how to write about poetry other than to say this one makes a piece of my soul fly around the room. His newest book, Inside of an Apple; the cover as simplistically perfect as the poems inside. From “The Plant” here are a few favorite bits
Fall asleep and dream you are a droplet
of pretty natural sugars condensed and spherical
then go get hid in someone’s mouth like candy
(maybe the groove in a tongue would be a nice place to stay)
and when they open their mouth for a raindrop
you’ll get a raindrop too
my heart’s a bean
windows/ and in the air
again I hear
thin happy music/about being alone
Another one I’m pouring slowly over, The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell. I thought I’d tear threw it, but each chapter is to savor, each moment in these lives of this 1920’s Ozark Mountain colony is to contemplate. A tragedy ties the story together but each character carries an individual pain and joy that resonates beyond it’s own time.
Alma touched all twenty-eight and kissed them each, kneeling to kiss because there was no way to know which box of wood held Ruby, or if she rested in only one, had not been separated into parts by crushing or flames and interred in two or three, so she treated every box as though her sister was inside in parts or whole and cried to the last.
The Town was represented from high to low, the disaster spared no class or faith, cut into every neighborhood and congregation, spread sadness with an indifferent aim. The well-dressed and stunned, the sincere in bibs and broken shoes, sat side by side the hymns they had in common.