cover image Liberation of Dissonance

Liberation of Dissonance

Bruce Bond. Schaffner, $17 trade paper (92p) ISBN 978-1-63964-000-3

The illusory and atmospheric latest from Bond (Blackout Starlight) tackles the theme of dissonance in music as a metaphor for the secrets of life, death, and the cosmos. In “Lamella,” a woman playing the oboe at a wedding as the bride walks down the aisle echoes the harvesting of mushrooms in southern France, the scenes juxtaposed for their delicate instruments: the reed, “the thin resilient tip that, when sounded, vanishes from view,” and the mushroom’s fragile construction, “Beneath the brim of the cap, the mushroom’s papery fan/ broke to pieces at my touch. It crumpled the way bodies do/ beneath a shared diagnosis.” Many poems address historical figures and events with multifaceted sensitivity. Bond is particularly skilled at interpreting sounds of nature through a musical lens; he writes of wolves howling, “It sounded honeyed at first, the binding of the voices// the way they bleed like sirens into echoes, echoes/ into the silence to come.” Written entirely in couplets, Bond’s form suits the subject matter with expert, lulling rhythms. This is a captivating ode to the power of music and the unnoticed melodies that mark the tempos of daily life. (July)