At Last We Enter Paradise

Richard Jones, Author Copper Canyon Press $10 (80p) ISBN 978-1-55659-042-9
Jones ( Country of Air ) writes brief, simple poems about isolated incidents while gracefully alluding to the complex relationships underlying them. The view from an abandoned house reeking with the ``smell of urine'' reveals a ``small, white, / freshly painted''--but equally empty--church. Jones places both church and house in an unexplained relation with one another that tantalizes the reader. In ``The Wedding Party,'' the best man at an outdoor marriage celebration performs ``loops and rolls'' in a plane. During a climb he stalls, crashes to Earth and the newlyweds run ``toward the fire.'' The poem implies--again intriguingly--that the pilot's fatal daring somehow parallels the couple's. When Jones narrates from an ``I,'' however, the poems tend to forfeit their sharpness. ``Back Then'' intends to link two sets of relations that the narrator has with men--his boss and his father; yet the poem meanders for several pages before drawing the connection. Several similar pieces make for a disppointing inconsistency in this collection, whose best poems forgo ``flashing epiphany'' for more implicit illuminations. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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