Friday, August 2, 2019

Too Much Nothing — Elisha May Rubacha (Apt. 9 Press)

Today's book of poetry:
Too Much Nothing.  Elisha May Rubacha.  Apt. 9 Press.  Ottawa, Ontario.  2018.


Today's book of poetry believes strongly is full disclosure, we know Elisha May Rubacha, but we don't know her well.  Rubacha is partners with an old friend and poet, Justin Million.

Too Much Nothing is the first poetry we have read by Rubacha and our very first reaction is: more.  Today's book of poetry was track-stopped by how easily these poems flowed down over the page and right into the central cortex, yet you can see, read and feel that they flow easily and yet they remain tight, taut and tempting.

tin can

my niece can't even
listen to "Space Oddity"

she is young but uncommonly worried about

the tin can is surrounded
by too much nothing

Sonny Carter was almost mission specialist 3
on Discovery mission STS-42


according to the national transportation safety board
"the taxi cab driver reported

that the crew was in good spirits and readily
engaged in conversation"

all 3 crew members and 20 passengers died in the plane crash
22 had never been in space


Too Much Nothing is no polemic but it certainly is a woman's voice, a woman's voice that wants to reach other women, of all ages.  Rubacha is clever, of course, but these poems are promise of so much more.  Like the astronauts she talks about in her poems it would appear Rubacha has other worldly perspective — and we benefit.

Our morning read was one beautiful ordeal.  Today's book of poetry crammed as many of our staff as we could into our faithful old Green Monster and then drove to Lac La Peche.  The Lake of Fish, Fish Lake.  Of course there were a few stops along the way.  Today's book of poetry knows about a funky deli/sandwich place just over the Alexandra Bridge and near the Museum of History.  Today's book of poetry used to hit this place when we worked at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  We jumped through the doors, bought our pop, juice, fruit, snack and sandwiches and loaded up.  Once we hit the lake it was hard/impossible to keep everyone organized.  Milo, our head tech and book scout, a former star swimmer, was appointed life guard to our little crew.  Most of the crew hit the water before the Green Monster rolled to a stop.

After some sunburn therapy and a few dips in the lake the crew gathered around a picnic table at Lac La Peche, the consensus was immediate.  Everyone at Today's book of poetry felt the sparks off of Elisha May's magic.  Everyone was impressed.  Maggie, our newest intern, declared that Rubacha was the most promising poet she'd read since joining the Today's book of poetry team.

Today's book of poetry was hard pressed to disagree.

snake fence

down the 7
the split rails
are self-supporting
with few tools
and no nails
in the trees
they're made of
timber inter
to hold

and plenty
the landscape


Most of you poetry bunnies won't know jack about Hwy #7, why should you?  It runs from Peterborough to Ottawa, mostly two lane, goes through a dozen small towns and a dozen "used to be's" and is generally an old farm road that has seen better economic days.  Rubacha's poem captures the true spirit of that stretch of road with more heart and understanding than poutine and 4X4s ever could.

No way around it, Today's book of poetry wants everyone to know that once again, Cameron Anstee's perceptive Apt. 9 Press has published another gorgeous chapbook full of polished, perceptive and promising poems.  Most of you know about Apt. 9 and their commitment to excellence, Rubacha raise the bar for all their future authors.

Too Much Nothing lets Elisha May Rubacha ruminate about gender without aggression.  These poems are about space travel, astronauts, the roads we travel and soaring nature of hope, but underlying all of it is Rubacha's theme, and a very necessary one.  Too Much Nothing is about empowering women, pushing the access bar that much closer to equal.

little girls

little girls bring their parents
to the opening of Dr. Bondar's photography exhibit

she autographs their drawings
or rocket ships and planets

while their brothers wait impatiently to leave


Today's book of poetry has nothing but praise for Elisha May Rubacha's Too Much Nothing.  Strength, beauty and intelligence in one tiny chapbook, Rubacha has wit and charm and her poetry shows it.

Kudos Apt. 9 Press, hat's off Ms. Rubacha.  Full burn.

Image result for elisha may rubacha photo

Elisha May Rubacha

Elisha May Rubacha lives, writes, and gardens in Peterborough, ON. She was a finalist for Peterborough's Outstanding Emerging Artist Award (2018), and shortlisted for the PRISM International Creative Non-fiction Contest (2016). Her work has been published by Electric City Magazines, illiterature, Bywords, The Steel Chisel, and Skirt Quarterly, with a publication from Exile forthcoming. She is the editor and designer of bird, buried poems.



Poems cited here are assumed to be under copyright by the poet and/or publisher.  They are shown here for publicity and review purposes.  For any other kind of re-use of these poems, please contact the listed publishers for permission.

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