cover image Soul in Space

Soul in Space

Noelle Kocot. Wave (Consortium, dist.), $18 trade paper (144 p) ISBN 978-1-933517-74-2

Part riddle, part reverie, and part prayer, the brief lyric poems that compose Kocot’s sixth collection inhabit a charged but quotidian space where “Everything / Is gone, and everything is comforting.” Kocot arranges the ephemera of the everyday in relation to each other and to the self as though striking a minor chord. Always private in tone but rarely confessional (“Talking about oneself is rarely/ Intimate.”), Kocot suffuses familiar domestic, urban, and suburban landscapes with a common loneliness, asking “what is the candy/ And the daylight/ And the horse without hunger?” For all of the casualness of a speaker who picks up and abandons ideas by quick turns, says “Yeah yeah yeah, but I’m serious,” asks “Taxi? Where are you?,” and appreciates “A sandwich/… there for us to munch on,” a deep preoccupation with the unknown and with the sublime runs throughout the book. Even when taking place in mundane settings, such as “traffic,” “faded rooms,” and “a supermarket at dusk,” there is attention to “The roar of enigma, the/ Special volume on the other side of things.” The observation “The movement of/ Grace beneath you runs like/ An orphic vision” could refer to the poems themselves, where and flotsam and jetsam of experience are buoyed by unending loss and enduring compassion. (Oct.)