cover image Coloratura on a Silence Found in Many Expressive Systems

Coloratura on a Silence Found in Many Expressive Systems

Alice Fulton. Norton, $26.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-324-02108-7

The pithy latest from Fulton (Barely Composed) is a doleful investigation of meaning, expression, and paradox. Some poems feature ambitious, labyrinthine musings while others offer more meticulously precise insights. Reliving the loss of her parents, the poet candidly admits: “for some there is no end to dark,” while elsewhere, she illustrates the widening scope of grief on a collective scale: “The mind is hushed/ by mantras, but trauma has a tongue/ so long it wraps around the inside of the skull.” Impish jests, such as wanting to “recrucify/ the Savior for not saving,” balance the collection’s gravity. Fulton masterfully and lyrically levels with anguish: “I find you/ must create a likeness of/ the dark for dark/ to disappear. It requires a certain obeisance?/ If it senses kinship it will yield,” striking a chord with readers who have tamed their affliction head-on. These layered, rich poems expand and test the possibilities of language while offering hope for joy and recovery. (Sept.)