Transparent Gestures

Rodney Jones, Author
Rodney Jones, Author Mariner Books $10.95 (80p) ISBN 978-0-395-51063-6
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
In long, rambling stanzas, the speakers in these poems tackle complex philosophical issues, often with startling imagery: ``When coyotes hunt, they come as a clean silence / comes to a text.'' With extreme sensitivity, Jones ( The Unborn ) contrasts the Old South--its religion, its slavery--with the New South of the adult personae here. In one moving passage, grandparents sit at a table saying grace while a grandson worships the potato pie: ``The sweeter the pie, the shorter the prayer.'' Poems about childhood are especially forceful, offering almost erotic insights into the boy-into-man cycle. Pubescents ``endure the first hormonal surge'' at the same time that ``they still harbor toys: stuffed animals forgetting / their names, incomplete sets, trucks with broken grilles''; the body of the first girl whom the narrator sees without clothes is confused with a relative's corpse: ``I grieved them both and loved steadily as I grieved.'' Jones's poems cannot be absorbed in a single reading, but amply reward prolonged scrutiny. (June)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X