24 Pages and Other Poems

Lisa Fishman. Wave (Consortium, dist.), $18 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-940696-10-2
Fishman (Current), in her sixth collection, makes a valiant effort to discuss space in terms of the things molding that space and the attempts to collapse that space. Through this movement she presents a life in pause, a sort of skipping frame in a movie. While the reader makes out the present moment in each poem, there are glimpses of what came before and after. So “& have you/ put a jam jar/ around the jam/ in the apricot sun/ shine,” becomes less a question than a description, and yet the question lingers. In the spaces Fishman defines, are things aligned in the “correct” way? Whose “correct” way? The effect of condensing space/time presents a new kind of poetic geometry. Here is the jar, there is the jam; they go together, but how and why? To a larger extent, do they even have to? Objects seem to assemble themselves around these questions as they are being described. To that end Fishman quotes from many disparate sources—Elizabeth Barrett Browning lives alongside a USDA report. This is a world in the midst of creation, an Ars Poetica of everything: “as far as the poem is concerned/ nothing important happening,” and that nothing is “dispersal: milkweed cottonwood everything.” (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/16/2015
Release date: 04/01/2015
Hardcover - 96 pages - 978-1-940696-09-6
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