Pattie McCarthy. Ahsahta Press, $12 US paperback (50p) ISBN 978-1-934103-55-5
& to & such a pretty bird. this is
the first sonnet for the third baby. if
I sound prepared for that, I am not.
let me know you’re all right in there, would you?
Kevin says : I dreamt it was a boy.
my brother says : your favorite presidents
cannot be F D R & Jefferson—
that’s illogical. Emmett says : when I
was pregnant with you, that was a tough week too.
Asher says : seashell, voilà. & the third
(having outgrown a perfect, fragile world)
baby ( bird from brid OE from unknown
origin) “because he was crying
I like him most of all,” says my son.
And so opens Philadelphia poet Pattie McCarthy’s new chapbook, x y z & & (Boise ID: Ahsahta Press, 2015). McCarthy is the author of four trade poetry collections, most recently Nulls (Grand Rapids MI: Horse Less Press, 2014), as well as a handful of poetry chapbooks, and her x y z & & is a suite of thirty-three pages that explores and extends her work in collage and accumulation, stitching together scattered notes on parenting, language, nursing, childbirth and babies. McCarthy magnificently articulates the anxiety, distraction, exhaustion and bliss of parenting small children, as she writes: “I had four hours in a row alone / to work & I looked at photos of them / & remembered the limitless mistakes / it was possible to make with the piano.” In an interview recently over at Touch the Donkey, she briefly discusses the chapbook: