I am thrilled to receive a wonderful review of my forthcoming chapbook, DISCONNECTIONS, by one of my favourite ever poets, Carolyn Srygley-Moore. You can buy her long-awaited chapbook, ‘Memory Rituals: An Army of Suns’ at Marilyn’s Poetry Buffet. If you are not familiar with her work I strongly recommend that you become acquainted.
Disconnections, Gillian Prew’s latest collection of poems, is a collection of pieces I was introduced to by periodic postings on facebook. I became an avid follower of this progression of microscopic meanderings into the life of a poet. Each poem steeped in precision and resonance, Pound’s chorus of what makes the poem. White white, smatterings of white, dresses returned to again and again, white bone, preferred.
These poems ache, one conjectures for solipsism, for greater solitude: yet as Prew says in #29,”Memory slopes to missing /yet I am not done with the world.” For all the brave forays into death, emptiness, Prew finds joy. Yes, although we “manage our suicides,’ with reference to Sexton and Hughes, there is reason to endure. More than endure.
Confronted with death, Prew’s narrator reminds me of Hesse’s Narcissus: seeing death as it is, objectifying, without fear, curious. Yes, although the skin changes folds betrays, in the last poem of the series the narrator declares, “I like my skin…there will be too much to hate.”
These are poems of connection, love amidst discordance, finding reflection in an empty mirror. Perhaps there is nothing beyond death, perhaps there is not even anarchy. There is this, however, there is life, even amidst the ripped cords of severance, the disconnections of failed relations, failed to the world, one’s others, oneself.
To me the most gorgeous piece of Disconnections is #22: pure beauty is engraved by these words, by a poet who is humble before the power of words. “This might be the year of the collective howl: a thin genesis…”, and one goes onward, seeking more from this woman, a poet of connections amidst real disconnections. As she observes the suicide so she observes the laundry drying on the line.
Milosz: what is poetry that does not save / nations or people. Prew’s work is not self-serving poetry. It has a larger law, or anti-law. It has a larger aim.