cover image The Most of It

The Most of It

Mary Ruefle. Wave Books, $11.95 (95pp) ISBN 978-1-933517-29-2

These 31 \x93stories\x94 from poet Ruefle (Indeed I Was Pleased with the World) are more like brief squibs, close observations and meditations. \x93Snow,\x94 for example, expresses the wondrous and sexual sense of benediction the narrator feels when it snows. \x93The Diary\x94 appears as a girl's autobiographical reflection on growing up on her father's troubled \x93diary farm.\x94 A cardinal \x93looking like Santa Claus\x94 seems to mimic the behavior of humans in \x93My Search Among the Birds.\x94 The pieces' brevity and whimsy sometimes veer into single sentiment gags, as when detailing (in \x93A Certain Swirl\x94) a sentence's sense of abandonment in being left on the blackboard after the class's departure. This collection showcases Ruefle's considerable lyrical powers and memorable flights of fancy. (June)