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Rebecca Foust. Four Way, $17.95 trade paper (88p) ISBN 978-1-954245-29-7

The meditative and melodious second collection from Foust (Paradise Drives) relishes in the daily discoveries that make life endlessly mysterious. “Prompt” begins with instructions from poet Stephen Dunn: “Write only what you absolutely do not know, not what you’re merely not sure of.” The poem continues, “Null. All. What’s after death or before./ Where my old dog is now, my mother,/ my father—not the ashes clumped/ in a box, but the mad licking/ and tail-beating and the gaze,/ dense with devotion, of iris-less eyes.” Foust is in conversation elsewhere too, as in “Dawn Piece” (after “Night Piece” by Stanley Kunitz), which beautifully asks: “Love,// believe it is only my mouth seeking the last marrow/ memory before night bleeds out// into the neap-tide drawn dawn, and let me sleep on...” The author has a gift for rhythmic imagery, such as in “Dream of the Rood”: “The town’s reason, gone. Stripper pit/strawberries/stripper pit/corn./ Coke-caked smokestacks, brick pink/ in morning sun,” or “spring still half on the spool.” These poems finely weave contrasting subjects, sensually recollecting earlier life while casting a hard, penetrating look at identity, politics, family, and the climate crisis. In these beautifully crafted and ecstatic pages, Foust celebrates the strength of memory and the interconnectedness of all people. (Sept.)