Monday, November 26, 2018

In medias res …

 Life in the Present Tense: “Like” by A. E. Stallings - Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Certain poems in Like exist as an extended meditation on the objects of domestic routine — a pair of scissors, a cast iron skillet, a wooden children’s toy, “[n]odding its wooden head” to the mechanical horse-and-dancer of Elizabeth Bishop’s “Cirque d’Hiver.” Don’t miss the “genuine horsehair,” either, rounding out “The Last Carousel,” which showcases the poet’s wit and metaphorical precision. The iron skillet, accidentally cleansed of its “black and lustrous skin” becomes “vulnerable and porous / As a hero stripped of his arms,” while her poem about pencils scratches steadily toward a blunt and darkly comic close, surrendering itself to Time, that “other implement / That sharpens and grows shorter.”

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