Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Monday, 6 August 2012

"Close" by Theresa Muñoz (HappenStance, 2012)

She's a short-liner. "Ice" (the first poem) begins "Some eight thousand miles west/ of our window (where/ an ashen moon// hangs brightly)". Some poets' stanzas equate to prose paragraphs. Here the stanzas often equate to sentences, the lines too short to contain a complete clause. For example, "Photo in Edinburgh" (20 lines) has "dad's flat cap/ tilted north,/ a handful/ of wind/ ruffling his hair", and ends gently with "their glasses are similar/ their smiles alike/ years of being close". There may well be subtle effects at play here, too subtle for me.

"East Preston Street Cemetery" is 10 little stanzas in a 2 by 5 grid - burial plots, maybe. "At Waverley" (the Edinburgh train station) is in 2 columns, the 2nd line of the 2-lined stanzas on the left being on the same line as the 1st line of a 2-lined stanza on the right. "Settlement" has space within lines and indentation - so much so that I wonder if it's a shape poem. A key?

"Traveling" (my favourite - an extract's below) and "Hard to know" (which I also like) seem different to the other pieces in the book - more fragmentation, but also more interesting connections between parts.

your hand on my back
the din of others round us
minutes sliding past


nothing so difficult
as getting further
further away

the landscape
from the window
hard ice
to ocean


daylight wakes me
light spills over me
into the aisles

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