Monday, June 1, 2009
Borrowed House: 15 poems by Brooklyn Copeland (Greying Ghost Press, 2009)
Buy it here
I have to admit I'm embarrassed I haven't written a review for this chapbook yet. I've had it since February and have read it a few times already.
In Brooklyn Copeland's Scantily Clad Press chapbook, Northernmost, her poems are cold and spacious like wandering the tundra and having your sight captivated by lichen hue. Her poems are sparse and can send a chill up your spine. Borrowed House finds Copeland operating in a different degree of weather. These poems, while still sparse in language, feel insulated like attic-trapped heat. Copeland's poem are not excessively chatty- every line is measured and necessary. Here's the first three lines of "Weeds," "Under a musty quilt,/ your eyes turn misty,/ your voice creams./"
Another thing to love about this chapbook is the way the poems go from interior to exterior. Here's a three lines from "They Remain Where Breath Left Them,"
These people were packrats. Really, we're the ones
haunting the house, traipsing half-naked, drink-handed,
every warped floorboard announcing our belligerence.
And here is one of my favorite poems, "Eleven O'clock,"
Meanwhile, a sense of needing
the field is there, the trough full
of rainwater, puffed-up bees.
Eleven o'clock I send you
back up that old nag tree
for some more of those
tiny mottled apples. In the branches,
the ghost of tom waits for you
to fail me.
These poems are wrought with expectation, the simplicity of youth, the complexity of adulthood, and each place mentioned is a space for beauty and also a space for hurt. There are failures both large and small and then there are people isolated, a bit broken, but ultimately bandaged and breathing. This chapbook is blood before it boils and shortly after it cools. You should read it and love it like I do.