This first collection by a poet whose work has appeared in The Wallace Stevens Journal, among other publications, is informed by Stevens's colorism and his civilized, lush metaphysics. Fishman's concrete, specific images also bring to mind William Carlos Williams's dictum, ""No ideas but in things!"" Well-crafted lines shake up points of view and the process of viewing: ""Various trees/ take place, take blossom; like nets that catch our ankles in silk holes."" Fishman's strongest phrases are rooted in an assiduous attention to particulars that give shape and weight to observations of the unconscious, her primary focus. These observations sometimes yield somewhat murky lyrics (""What shall we do// If the door to the drawing room opens,/ Night wraps it fingers in our unbound hair/ and we want it to?""). Similarly, her colorizing of experience can be taming rather than vitalizing: ""Shall we call it indigo or what-we-almost-had?"" Nonetheless, Fishman's poems are consistently powerful in their close hewing to the physical world ,and this collection announces a strong, commanding presence with such lines as ""Who needs the tattered covenant this body is?/ The car glides like an egg through the centuries falling around it"" and ""...but I would say my lungs are bruise-colored rivers of trout/ cascading faster than Killyon Creek/ and with less reason."" (Nov.) FYI: This is one of three volumes that launches the New Issues Press Poetry Series from Western Michigan University Press, which will publish five first books of poetry each year.
Reviewed on: 11/04/1996 Release date: 11/01/1996 Genre: Fiction