Dear You by Wade Stevenson
|Dear You || Wade Stevenson || BlazeVOX [books]|
I enjoyed reading your manuscript DEAR YOU. I really admire what you have here. The poems pop off the page with a stinging emotional power.
Your poem, HER BREATH IS NOT MINE, is a great way to begin this book. I love how you use the natural act of peeing to describe the ideas of elimination in a relationship. You manage to make a poetics of the body. Oriented and focused on the flesh as a metaphor of the distance between the ghost inside the skeleton that is longing for touch but never actually getting to do more than simply migrating from love to lover.
The longing you express, the circle of wanting and waiting, the loss of a wife who no doubt will not return, the possible loss of a daughter, is a clear universal feeling. Your lines, “It’s while she’s asleep that my rage/builds to a fiery crescendo that’s has no place to go,” gets a gold star.
The revolving of wording in the last stanza of TOUCHING YOU is simply great work. And again, in LOOKING FOR YOU, you touch on fine ideas and open the dialog of the body, the essence of the form and how that form can never be replicated. The last two lines sum up such fine circulation of the self versus the other. Which leads into another fine work, YOU AWAY. Moving from Frost’s poem into a new notion of divergence. Footprints in the snows of unknown animals, the seeking of the self within the self and how that new self becomes something unknown to the self viewing itself. Very nicely handled.
YOU LEAVING is a very powerful piece. The raw energy of the poem is something to be admired, charging the stepping pattern of the ever changing stanzas with sonic phrasing, you manage to make art out of the anger and empty feelings of being left behind. Recalling the elimination of the earlier poems, YOU LEAVING makes a mythos of the history of the couples lives together. I love the ending lines, “Our mothers would have been shocked/By the distance a man and a woman can let grow between them.”
FROM YOU is another great piece. Now we have HER voice humming in the book, and it is cold, relevant and knowing. The ethos of the body once again rules the ideas of the poem, and the power of touch --- even the touch of the fingernails --- has the power to be dangerous. You incorporate so many exciting ideas in these poems of the body, they are a fine thing to read, even though they evoke such sadness.
The second stanza is a magnificent description of the distance grief encompasses. And the idea that you could stop your own breathing also gets a gold star. Just as does the follow-up line, “I am an expert at touching things for the last time.”
GETTING THE MESSAGE is an intense detailing of the real power of depression. Just as THE POWER OF YOU is a wonderful follow up piece. “Letting the true silence of mourning reign” begins the next two stanzas that repeat in the middle of the poem and then finish the poem are exceptional forms of expressing division --- even though a part of your tow must still continue due to the daughter shared between you both. It is an optimistic view of regrowth in the face of adversity.
I love WHEN THE STONE BECAME STONE, it calls to the idea of regrowth, the circling of birth from death and the desire to be taught this by the one who left, waking and dreaming with open and closed spaces.
The final poems in your manuscript call on the goal of peace, finding peace and understanding, what a broken life might be like living as a jar, once broken and then re-glued back into place might still find use as a vessel. When I finished your book I still felt the burning emotion that you found in your life as the verve to feed these poems. I also felt that at the end I could find the love that you seek to echo “in the light that’s left behind.”
—Geoffrey Gatza, author of “Apollo” and “The House of Forgetting”
Wade Stevenson was born in New York City in 1945. He is the author of several books of poetry, a memoir “One Time in Paris,” and a novel “The Electric Affinities.”
· Paperback: 68 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-224-2
Dear You- A Memoir With Poems by Wade Stevenson Book Preview