The Opposite of Light: Poems

Kimberly Grey. Persea (Norton, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (64p) ISBN 978-0-89255-471-3
Grey raises a wall of sound while meditating on love, power, and control in her debut collection, winner of the 2015 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry: "Built your truss, built your small back,/ all I could muster, all cheek and luck." Grey lures readers into a world full of clever language and heartfelt metaphor. "Love is not an actual helmet. It is/ fashionable. We wear it to feel heavy/ with gold," she writes. As Grey posits lively dichotomies, those ups and downs bleed through the text to enact the movement of relationships through time. In the aptly named "Fragments of Time," reality sets in; "I want to tell you how it splits/ me how I am so sad for/ what strays you fix your hair you leave." Memories of experience, unfocused and non-linear, make brief, star-like appearances. "What we'll always have becomes something we lost,/ becomes something we want, becomes sadness," Grey writes. In the face of the inevitable death—and subsequent mourning—that comes with love, she presents readers with words that are immediate and alive. Excavating her own shared, mundane experiences, Grey finds both deep truths within those fleeting joys and a fresh way to present a very old idea. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
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