Lawn Furniture

looks out to stars
            so far away
they’ve long stopped burning
                                                Unfathomable Mystery!
            chair I always sit in

            no emptier than the chair
                                                 I never do

 

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Jody Gladding proposes a new kind of translation where ‘there are only two verb tenses: the cyclical and the radiant.’ She practices both, giving us a powerful, eerie book where rubbings, drawings and installations compound the translation. ‘I am / this / moment / of / perception,’ she says, and delves even deeper into her subtle, playful relation to language: ‘the words / he said / . . .we don’t / want / them / jumping / to / safety.’ Her poetry witnesses multiple realities inside and outside time to let us see that ‘humankind was a violent / force that destroyed the living / face of the planet.’ Brilliant!!!”

 —Cecilia Vicuña

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“What is a pastoral lyric? What is the language to depict the natural world that is around us in this barbarous time which denies us our senses? Is it a shout, a half-whisper? When butterflies fly into oncoming traffic, what are words for? ‘The butterflies were not trying to tell us anything,’ the poet says. ‘It was such a pretty drive.’ There is an alchemy going on here, it has to do with what Jody Gladding tells us, yes. But it has a whole a lot more to do with what she withholds. This is a magical book, one in which the pastoral is in the range of our voices, the devotion is in the range of what we cannot hear, and poetry is in every page’s silence—in its ‘letters picked / from our letters.’ Jody Gladding’s genius lies in her ability to split language, her knowing, as René Char did, that ‘lucidity is the wound closest to the sun.’”

—Ilya Kaminsky

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Recent reviews of Translations from Bark Beetle have appeared in:
(click titles link to reviews)

The Poetry Foundation website

Numéro Cinq Magazine (online)

Orion Magazine (September/October, 2014)

Freeverse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics (online)

KMSU Weekly Reader (Minnesota State University radio)

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