Calenday by Laura Haldeman
Part of the Creative Writers Reading Series: Presentation and Signing free and open to the public. 7:30 p.m. in the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art Address: 1400 Remington. Date: 01/25/18*****Poetry. Lauren Haldeman's inventive debut, CALENDAY, plays and challenges with equal force: "Up from my heart / I thought of my head, / and my heart came true." These poems travel the sleep- deprived, hallucinogenic landscape of parenting a newborn from the otherworldly process of giving birth to the strangeness of extra-physical connection, they build worlds in miniature and madcap and address the tiers of grief that accompany tragic and bewildering loss. Within iridescently imagined scenes, Haldeman plants her humans: "Near the seventh cavern / where he wrestled once with bubbly air / your brother opened a tin-can, found glow-sticks inside. He broke // the liquid into essence..." These vibrant, dark, and salvaged fragments complicate the magic of the human animal outside of measurable time. "Part elegy, part exaltation, motherhood is a kind of disoriented mourning in this grieving, chilling collection, where to be born is to slip from illimitable immortality into time. And even as Haldeman cherishes the essence of life, 'Your body a banquet of sunshine in this shovel, ' I wonder if this measured poet slinging her spade is a master gardener or a gravedigger. CALENDAY is the logbook of both. A book of the dead, and a book of life, this is a mysterious desk calendar countdown that accounts for eternity by charting now, now, now, and now. 'Everything was glorious and dangerous.'" Robyn Schiff "What is a day when heart and eye shake loose and baffle the hierarchy of time and mind? A new form of measure in which life learns to run fugitive from the hours that count it down. Catalyst to such wilding work: a child, a poem. Both so strangely initiate us who have them, who hold them, who write them and raise them, back into the deep life of form that is no mere limit on possibility, but a reintroduction to the very fact of mortality whose fateful end can only be forgiven for also being the beginning of wonder. Day by day, Lauren Haldeman's CALENDAY takes care to urge us back into our earliest eye, subject to all the play they record, opening again that capacity to awe that reworks all relation by remembering how miraculously confounding our primary one is: mother to child. Listen: 'People here call this // the "neon whisper."' True enough. My eye sees now in iridescent hue. Flowers glow brighter than suns, the white page glows purple, and each created thing keeps making a brighter version of itself: person to child, poetry to poem, windmill to wind: 'Look at it; / look at it breathing.' Dear reader, yes: look at it. This book. It's breathing." Dan Beachy- Quick --Books in Print
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