Review: Radiation by Sandra McPherson

RadiationRadiation by Sandra McPherson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ok. So this one is okay. I’m giving it a firm ‘ok.’ It was a nice book. I had to re-read it to really begin confronting it. The structure of her poems is sometimes erratic, but the tone is thoroughly consistent. Like finding a place to sleep in a strange house.

But I’m warning you there a a few duds, like “A Pumpkin at New Year’s.” This one goes on and on about a fucking pumpkin, all “Khrushev-cheeked” and “indeed your stem seems punched into your orange gathers like a button in a mattress…” Oh please. Just because you have a couple nice images DOES NOT make a pumpkin relevant. Ew.

But, don’t be too down on Sandra yet:

…That is how
I might move my hands in her like dulled blades…

OR “Water Poems”

Here’s where the ships are expected.
So it is a place for you to begin
going away.

The days leave from here.
Why not my little pressure
evaporating from your hand.
The sea is postureless.
You’ll be back in its mirror
like the moon.
This is where the sailor
asked no one permission
to come home when he’s ready.

Yeah. I dig shit like that. But let me tell you why… I think the phrase “begin going away” is strange. Because it sounds like the beginning and ending are the same thing. Picture it. The way we met is the way we left eachother. And that gives one the impression that all is wonderfully lost–and there’s no hope of telling it. The story, that is. And “little pressure” seems so perfect, put next to a postureless sea. Because the ending is in our posture, our supports giving way, how silently we keep enduring it. And I guess I like stories like that… Where we look into it and “when you arrive empty / I realize too / I have said nothing.”

View all my reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>