Friday, October 14, 2016

Poetic Book Tours: Field Guide To The End Of The World by Jeannine Hall Gailey

Book Description:

Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award, delivers a whimsical look at our culture’s obsession with apocalypse as well as a thoughtful reflection on our resources in the face of disasters both large and small, personal and public. Pop-culture characters—from Martha Stewart and Wile E. Coyote to zombie strippers and teen vampires—deliver humorous but insightful commentary on survival and resilience through poems that span imagined scenarios that are not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. The characters face their apocalypses in numerous ways, from strapping on rollerblades and swearing to taking notes as barns burn on the horizon. At the end of the world, the most valuable resource is human connection—someone holding our hands, reminding us “we are miraculous.”

TitleField Guide To The End Of The World 

Author: Jeannine Hall Gailey
ISBN:  978-0913785768
Publisher: Moon City Press/2016

One things sticks out when you read Gailey's poetry. That she has deep knowledge about science. She touches War in all its forms, Disappearance of Bees, and Natural Disasters. Pondering about all these should stop us on our tracks and it does. 

Field Guide To The End Of The World is dark. Yet the humour makes the dark bearable. The way she makes us think is like keep changing channels for our favourite programmes. We want to watch it all at the same time. Same with her poems. We want to savour the poems all at the same time.

In the poem In Case, it starts with matter of voice but gets fanciful when we reach the middle. 

We were taught in grade school different lessons of survival:

In case of nuclear attack, hide under your desk.
In case of chemical attack, buy duct tape.
Buy a rape whistle.Learn a martial art

I read old fairy tales, wolves lurking behind trees

and parents ready to kill children.Magic mirrors,
dragons, spells that charm and protect.
Burn this herb to banish ghosts.

Sometimes I imagine afterlife, puffs of pink
clouds and unicorns, or gold harps, or glass cities
with streets made of Emerald. The whole earth
spinning like a child's marble below, pitiful.

We are told to vaccinate, o educate, to warn.
Traffic tickets, parking signs: bureaucratic safety nets.
Our governments promise safety in exchange for....
I will light a candle, listen to the solar-charged radio for a sign.

Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales

The body is a place of violence. Wolf teeth, amputated hands.
Cover yourself with a cloak of leaves, a coat of a thousand furs,
a paper dress. The dark forest has a code. The witch
sometimes dispenses advice, sometimes eats you for dinner,
sometimes turns your brother to stone.
You will become a canary in a castle, but you’ll learn plenty
of songs. Little girl, watch out for old women and young men.
If you don’t stay in your tower you’re bound for trouble.
This too is code. Your body is the tower you long to escape,
and all the rotted fruit your babies. The bones in the forest
your memories. The little birds bring you berries.
The pebbles on the trail glow ghostly white.

I have the following poetry books by Gailey and loved those 

The Robot Scientist's Daughter by Jeannine Hall Gailey and
Becoming the Villainess by Jeannine Hall Gailey

But Field Guide To The End Of The World is one of her best till date. It has been divided into sections and each one reaches out. As I understand Rocket Science only too well, these poems touched the scientist in me....

The poems makes an impact, changes us in subtle ways, and make us wish to reach out and touch the words. Need I say more? May be yes...may be no....I must mention here I am no fan anything apocalyptic or of zombies or vampires. Despite that I couldn't put down this book of poetry.

In short, I am going to read more of Gailey's poetry....

Wish I had the print copy of this.....

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Poetic Book Tours: You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened by Arisa White


Angular, smart, and fearless, Arisa White’s newest collection takes its titles from words used internationally as hate speech against gays and lesbians, reworking, re-envisioning, and re-embodying language as a conduit for art, love, and understanding. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened works through intersectional encounters with gender, identity, and human barbarism, landing deftly and defiantly in beauty.

My views:
The first thing I felt about "You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened by Arisa White" is that it is very liberating. Each and every poem is about love. Not the fairy tale kind but the everyday kind which sustains. I won't say these are spiritual but are visceral, the kind which touch the gut. The poems are like songs of set to tune. Those soulful songs we all love to listen to, in certain moods. With deep feelings, these poems take us to that realm of deep thoughts. We sit back and contemplate. It ceases to matter what kind of relationship. Love is love, irrespective of who loves whom...the race, gender, social ladder is irrelevant. Eroticism is not something which has to be hidden. It can be flaunted subtly, sensually and is to be celebrated.
Tenderness touches the loneliness, a paradox in itself but isn't that how it works? 
I loved the following poems....
I will read Arisa White again and again....

There are little words
that can fit in little places
if you say them small enough.

To fit a song into a pore
you have to be prepared
for the day it will sweat.

If words could stick on people,
if spoken, they would become
a different creature.

Blinded and you’re turned
five times around. Nothing
in you knows what it knew.

It’s the best part of the game:
Prick the girls you like best
while pinning on the donkey’s tail.