All day I've been chewing
on my own acrid gloom,
trying to put away
the things you keep carrying
home from work: the possessions
of children and women
and drunks, stolen or cheated,
the tasteless unhappiness
of others into jars labeled:
— Olena Kalytiak Davis
from It's Shaped Like a Fork
It's been a long time since I've turned and returned to a book of poems to dissect line after line, holding each piece to light, peering at the shadows to gaze with a mix of adulation and envy.
But now there is Olena Kalytiak Davis with And Her Soul Out of Nothing, and I'm marking pages, writing down and down and down. I want to remember, to share, to shake and shout, say, You won't believe this poem, and this one, and this one, too.
Outside, the thin line left in the sky
is exhausting itself.
- from This Is The Way I Carry Mine
These poems beat with force and beauty. She's the rebel girl you want to know — all long limbs and sharp angles, wearing a cigarette and an indifferent gaze. You're desperate to be her but you know you never will, and you're sort of afraid to try.
Still, I dig under, walking, stalking, circling the words, trying to discover her science. These poems move. I am restless to read more but also eager to settle in. How does she do this, create this tempo, this wonderfully alluring ache?
Please don't misunderstand:
We still suffer, but we are happy.
— from Postcard
Reading good writing stirs my own. This is the beautiful fever.
What's got you burning? What great words are you reading, writing, admiring, envying, savoring?