cover image The Logan Notebooks

The Logan Notebooks

Rebecca Lindenberg. Colorado State Univ./Center for Literary Publishing, $16.95 trade paper (72p) ISBN 978-1-885635-37-2

"Cloud shaped book, opening," writes Lindenberg (Love, an Index) to open this stunning collection of narrative lyric poems. Lists, aphorisms, and poems to mark various occasions accumulate into evidence of the speaker's life in Logan, Utah, while natural landmarks and ordinary objects of the Western U.S., including canyons, billboards, big rigs, mechanical bulls, and mountains provide insight into her (and, by extension, the American) psyche. A few poems take inspiration from The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, while even more owe a debt to traditional Japanese poetic forms, such as the haiku, due to their surprising juxtaposition of images. Despite their beauty, Lindenberg's poems do not shy away from humor or pain, as shown through her students, friends, and lovers. A constant is her fascination with sound and the meaning(s) of words: "Poetry is nobody's/ native language. Or the only one." Lindenberg has a supreme grasp of language, yet still understands its limitations and acknowledges that reality. Often, books that are this linguistically alluring can be found lacking in emotion, but that is not the case here. Lindenberg has crafted a collection that is immediately striking, yet thought-provoking beyond its pages—a recipe to rouse even the most callous reader. (June)