Your Moon

Ralph Angel. New Issues (SPD, dist.), $15 trade paper (64p) ISBN 978-1-936970-23-0
Angel’s fifth collection (after Exceptions and Melancholies) opens with a description of a person who could be any one of us: “Someone has been sleeping. Someone’s/ heading nowhere.” The assured uneasiness—or is it uneasy assurance?—that characterizes these lines pursues the speaker through a series of meditations on death, love, and the work of time, in which the speaker “puts a naked eye/ to things, and makes them/ beautiful.” These poems, as stark as they are spare, track with shrewdness and humor the thoughts of a mind that has come to recognize it shares its world with loss. The result is a poetics that is both disembodied and preoccupied with the body’s inevitable irrelevance. “So relax,” says a voice that’s as confident in itself as it is in itself disappearing, “take your feet/ off—nobody’s/ missing. There are many parts/ of the mind.” Here, thinking is figured through a syntax that fractures our sense of time as linear, and makes the physical world appear more like the mind: “Or there you are// and how you came/ to hate me. Or how ideas/ come to me.” Like ideas, Angel’s poems take root in the mind with ease, and blossom into a complexity that continues past the page, long after the body of the book has been shut. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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