by Dena Rash Guzman
Dog On A Chain Press, 2013
69 pages / $10.00 buy from Powell’s
1. Dena Rash Guzman climbs trees and sports cowboy boots and straw hats.
2. Many men drown at sea.
3. All the poems are titled Life Cycle to avoid/create/engender confusion.
4. Handless children populate the poppy pods.
5. DRG has been to China and beyond in search of the muse.
6. Farm weddings do not feature high on her list of favorite events.
7. Bones sleep, are tossed, and itch in these poems.
8. I spent one hot summer in Portland once, some years ago, and did not bump into the poet.
9. I have written several poems lately dealing with loss and aging, and “This is how we forget our ancestors:” shakes the dust off my own family skeletons.
10. DRG reads her poetry live more than most writers I’ve come across, and I’m not sure this is due to her brilliant reading, or Portland, OR, having more readings per square mile than Brooklyn, NY.
11. There’s a lot of holding hands going on in this collection.
12. I worry about losing my memory as I age, and get an inkling from the book that DRG might do the same.
13. “Falling in love is like a hungry cat.”
14. There’s an underlying eroticism to these poems.
15. “Art of War, red shoes, suitcase. / I walked out on everything.”
16. Spirals, ever increasing.
17. Coyotes bark red earth.
18. Shoes, skirts, heels—the accouterments of a traveling poet.
19. There are drugs and sex in these waters.
20. I wonder if the coyotes in DRG’s backyard are related to the ones who traverse my own patch of earth?
21. Oxycodone heals all wounds.
22. “I’m a pioneer, motherfucker.”
23. Pisces Horoscope: Never trust the doctors who are not poets; their words are filled with undiagnosed traumas.
24. The ghost of Kenneth Rexroth walks these poems.
25. Sex, Lice, and Robitussin.