cover image And So Wax Was Made & Also Honey

And So Wax Was Made & Also Honey

Amy Beeder. Tupelo, $18.95 trade paper (76p) ISBN 978-1-946482-36-5

The historical and fantastical mingle in gleeful harmony in the richly imagined third collection from Beeder (Now Make Me an Altar). Inventive titles suggest the poet’s varied sources of inspiration; “Letter from Inmate 0709-609” is a riff on a missive from an incarcerated person seeking advice about his poetry. It grows darker as the writer confesses his crime: “...the boys who finally/ found her thought at first dog bones but/ then a sneaker.” Beeder has a penchant for scientific phenomena and the occult, as evidenced in several poems titled “A Practical Guide to Hand Analysis.” Her talent for combining evocative images with rich sensory language is on display in the Thomas Hardy–inspired “Sir Say Pray,” featuring milkmaids “cream-skinned, gathering toad-spume on skirts relentlessly cracking the snails underfoot.” In “Lithium Dreams,” the poet writes an origin story for the salt flats of Bolivia: “Once, volcanoes walked & talked like/ humans. Married. Quarreled & gave birth./ When the beautiful Tunupa’s/ husband ran away & took their only child/ she mourned:/ ...until she made this sunken bed, a dry &/ ragged ice-white sea.” These intriguing poems are a pleasure to read. (Dec.)