these are from Amazon
Tracy Mishkin’s new poetry chapbook is a gem. Tracy is wonderful at weaving language-play with narrative to create beautiful verse. An excellent followup to her first chapbook I Almost Didn’t Make it To McDonald’s, this new chapbook utilizes vivid imagery to weave together poems of heartbreak and humor.
Love this collection of poetry! Many of the poems confront difficult topics, but Mishkin faces them in her characteristic straightforward fashion. The collection also shows how she has matured since her first book, I Almost Didn’t Make it to McDonald’s.
After several weeks of sleeping skin
to skin, my imaginary friend shows up
in red flannel pajamas.
Time to get my head right.
I tell my husband, “I want to make love
when you’re finished beading that bracelet.”
“It’s a necklace,” he says. Every bead
a tiny wasted day.
He heads off to Goodwill to scavenge
cubic zirconia. Ring tight on my finger,
I look for something safe to do.
Passing the local halfway house, I watch
their rabbit wander across the yard. Hop.
Nibble grass, check sky for hawks. Hop.
Tricky to resist, this gravitating to crazy.
I wrote this poem around 1990, when I was in graduate school at The University of Michigan and a member of the Committee to Defend Abortion Rights. I am proud that while engaged in activism, I also valued dialogue with the other side. Bonus: picture of me looking ridiculously young.
I dig my knee hard into her back, planting
my palm against the clinic wall. She squeezes
little beads on a string, a rosary, and trembles.
I have not seen her face. For two hours
she has been the back and buttocks sitting
on my feet, pushing me into the wall.
I want to feel sorry for her, bird-thin thing,
to say, “Get off my feet and I will move my knee,
stand and face me, tell me why you’re here,
why your friends have blocked the clinic door.”
But she joins in hymns and I shout slogans.
Sometimes her people raise a chant, “Jesus, Jesus!”
rolling into the sky. I don’t hear any answer.
Copies of my book arrived in the mail Thursday. Here’s the first review from a partial reviewer who know nothing about poetry, or so he claims, yet somehow manages to hit the nail on the head: “I love the way your wry and self-deprecatory humor comes through and the sense of seeing something deeper and more abiding behind ordinary things, ordinary situations. I like your respect for God, but the god of the title poem (“the force within me”), rather than the wish-granting ATM god that seems common in this part of the country. I love your innate respect for others coupled with your ability to see their foibles (reminds me of Sholom Aleichem).”
–David Cook, whose current job title is “Too Poor to Give Wal-Mart the Finger, But He Speaks Truth”