Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blame It On The Moon - Lisa Shatzky (Black Moss Press)

Today's book of poetry:
Blame It On The Moon.  Lisa Shatzky.  Black Moss Press.  Windsor, Ontario.  2013.


Ownership

She owns a motorbike she never rides.
It sits shiny and new in an over-stuffed garage
with other trinkets hardly used.
She dreams of its speed.
Imagines it between her legs.
Thinks of all that power.
Chrome.
Black metal ice.
Thick sensuous tires.
Hot fire breath of its engine.
Wild exotic tongue of its exhaust.
She imagines, One day, one day...

Somewhere there is a husband
wandering around, a little lost
and a little not here,
in an over-stuffed house
with a thousand other projects
that will never be finished.
Sometimes when she's not looking, he finds his way
back to the garage, searching for that one tool
he will never find.
A tool that will set him loose
from the wide gasping mouth of the house
and its incessant appetite
and cold hand and matching curtains.
A house that wants to consume him one piece at a time.
He is looking for that one thing
that will give him wings to fly again
and feel the wind caressing his face
and the sun's warmth on his skin.
That one thing that will make him
feel he did not die. Not yet, not yet...

...

Lisa Shatzky writes with such emotional confidence that reading Blame It On The Moon gives the reader optimism.

These poems crackle with energy and dare I say it - love.  Shatzky is attempting to rejoice in our higher natures, fully cognizant of our limitations and therefore our failures.

If I have erred...

If I have erred, let it be
because I got the colours wrong and was intoxicated

by them anyway, mistaking blue eyes
for the arms of the sea and brown eyes for

the autumn meadows I yearned to roam
and green for all the forests that called to m

and always I came running, my howls
unheard in the domesticated glitter of city lights.

If I have erred, let it be
because time was mango juice dribbling

down my lips and my heart wanted
to suck every last drop even if

it was foolish and messy and meant falling
off the map again. I heard music

in the confusion, ravens flying out
of midnight, whales dancing storms

at the bottom of the sea, and your skin
screaming yes to me even as you were leaving.

If I have erred, let it be
because I touched scars and kissed lost causes

and prayed to the lone cactus
blooming a golden flower in the war-drenched

blood stained desert
as if it might save the world.

If I have erred, let it be
because I followed friends - who followed me -

into burning buildings and onto runaway trains heading over
cliffs, believing the music we make

when we love is the same music we make
when we die and eventually, however broken,

we all learn to fly.

...

Shatzky is witty and wise.  These poems do "sing the body electric" and promise hope, and how brave is that?  These aren't head-in-the-sand naive - but the other end of the spectrum - firmly rooted in the heart.  These poems dare the revelation of sincerity.  Not a dance many poets go to.

Fashion doesn't favour clear candor in heart talk - Shatzky embraces it.

Letters

Across the landscapes we inhabit
I imagine you touching
the paper I am folding
just for you.
Your eyes filling
in the blanks, your strong hands
like commas, hesitating upon certain words.
Then the night of your breath inhales them
as if they must be coaxed
out of hiding.
Maybe we write letters
because we want something
tangible in our hands
because words are not solid things
but doors swinging open

and we are always coming and
going and reinventing ourselves
out of the loneliness we are born with.
As if we sense the light singing
beyond the cave is within reach.
How far the door swings open
depends on how easily
we move through the forest.

You write, tell me how
you spend your days
and it is the sun incandescent
on my face. The quivering skin
remembering what the mind cannot.
The smudge, a kiss.
The creases, where you fold to me.
The ink, our deepest rivers.

...

Did a straw poll around our office, Today's book of poetry defies anyone to read Blame It On The Moon and not feel a sense of joy, a modicum of hope.  Lisa Shatzky writes poems from a well of intense emotional honesty.

If the object of poetry is to create a connection with the reader, to bridge that infinite gap between strangers with something on a page, Shatzky can rest easy, job well done.

LisaShatzky

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Shatzky’s poetry has been published in The Vancouver Review, Room Magazine, Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, The Nashwaak Review, The Antigonish Review, The Vancouver Sun, The Dalhousie Review, Canadian Literature, Canadian Woman’s Studies, The Prairie Journal, Jones Ave., The New Quarterly, Monday’s Poem, and has published six chapbooks by Leaf Press (edited by Patrick Lane). Lisa Shatzky has also had poetry published in a new anthology This Island We Celebrate (Bowen Island Arts Council, 2013), as well as anthologies and magazines across Canada and the U.S.A.


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