cover image The Rules of Paradise

The Rules of Paradise

D. Nurkse, D. Nurske. Four Way Books, $13.95 (86pp) ISBN 978-1-884800-38-2

Brooklyn's Poet Laureate D. Nurske (Isolation in Action) delivers a book-length family history in verse, The Rules of Paradise. The speaker, whom we follow from childhood to adulthood, moves between his own daily existence and the illusory, unknown world of his father's exile and death in the Catalan village of Prades. The narrator grows, marries, has a child, divorces, all the while haunted by his father's experience. Nurske casts enlarged scenarios from his life onto metaphors for the qualities of existence, love, longing. Of playing on a see-saw with his daughter, he writes: ""I sit near the center,/ the fulcrum, at once she has power/ to lift me off the earth by her tiny weight, she laughing,' I stunned at the power of formula."" ( Dec. 15)