Rocket Fantastic: Poems

Gabrielle Calvocoressi. Persea, $25.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-89255-485-0
Calvocoressi (Apocalyptic Swing) resists the limitations of language—especially where gender is concerned—to more fully capture the experience of a self “unlimited in its possibilities.” (To announce the repeated manifestations of her recurring character the Bandleader, Calvocoressi uses the musical segno symbol, signifying a “confluence of genders in varying degrees, not either/or nor necessarily both in equal measure.”) The setting of her third collection is woodsy, nocturnal, and by turns sinister and merciful; where “it did get dark” enough to see the stars “but how bright it was.” Various animals populate the mountains, grasses, and trees: deer, falcons, bobcats, and foxes. “And yes,” the speaker in “I Had a Mane Once” reminds readers, “I was every inch an animal.” A range of characters compose a makeshift cast—or family—fluid enough to include a hermit, a cowboy, and a dowager. These poems balance wildness and control in a fearless treatment of eros, identity, trauma, and all that resists easy categorization. The voice encompasses the colloquial as well as the high lyrical: “Oak leaves so full of late summer// sun even I thought, Obscene, and stood stunned/ for a moment.” When particular forms aren’t up to the task of rendering something with tender and unflinching attentiveness, Calvocoressi reaches outside of poetry altogether: “Oh. It. Was. Beautiful. No metaphor will do.” (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/17/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 96 pages - 978-0-89255-492-8
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