cover image Royals


Cedar Sigo. Wave, $18 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-940696-53-9

Sigo (Language Arts) thinks deeply about what art can actually do in the aesthetically and lyrically exhilarating poems of his fourth collection. He writes to and for both friends and myriad artistic inspirations; each piece is spoken by “a working writer, nursing the pools in everyone’s hearts.” Sigo tinkers with an array of forms; while his prose poems adhere to rigid parameters, for instance, others in verse slither snakelike down the page, pulling the reader into unexpected territory. The latter type could fly past if it weren’t for the moments when Sigo deliberately slows the reader down to follow the turns of his line and become aware of the precision: “I cut the small/ black shadow/ of a jet and/ am moving it about/ the sky/ in the postcard.” In this collection, artists are perpetually deep in their work: “The poets in glowing lab coats” experimenting with various processes to discover “the deepest impression, a line torn from its plush root.” Sigo is generous with his homages and demonstrates a deep awareness of lineage that results in a book rich in references, consistently reminding readers of art’s wild entanglements: “We have to talk in every room to solve the dream house.” (Sept.)