An Aorta with Branches: A Travelogue
Deborah Wood. Sunnyoutside Press, $12 hand-bound chapbook (32p) ISBN: 978-1-934513-56-9
In this beautifully crafted poetry chapbook, the speaker begins with an idea of a beginning, a starting over, and, early on, slips in perhaps the finest October simile this reader has ever come across: “October is like hugging in sweaters.” Readers are taken on a road trip of two companions that, given the order of the titles/locations, appears to move from California to New York. Surprising sentences populate the work, such as this line from the opening poem: “Some days I believe the world is flat, wish the day/was full of only useless things, remember I am/only a number, that flowers fall out of fashion.” And sensory treats abound like “...and all of a sudden the car/smells of onions.” There’s a recurrence of the idea that “things are happening”, internally and externally, and there’s also a spiritual frustration in which “...we cannot close the gap/between ourselves and things.” The speaker notes that our desire for simplicity is frequently clouded by our want to complicate, sharply stating: “But the simple explanation is not always/the one we want.” This brief and dynamic work of making maps, making a new life, and moving forward is sure to delight readers while also leaving them wanting more. (March 2017)
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