Today, I champion two books by Amy Newman.
On Amy Newman's "Fall"
Here are Amy Newman’s superb iterations of the word “fall.” I’ve never read anything like it. I’m a long-time fan of Newman’s poetry, and it’s difficult to condense into words how I sometimes flinch while I marvel at the beauty of her writing:
a shedding of the eye level of things --
tinny cascade of objects...
For me, this book defines how contemporary poetry must rear its rebellious, unkillable head -- with finesse, with daring in its exploitation of language, with unparalleled richness.
On Amy Newman's "Order, or Disorder"
Order, Or Disorder is replete with themes that touch on mortality and spirituality. What I love about Amy Newman’s brand of poetry is the earthy and impenetrable-but-there air. Even her dose of honesty is delivered in a devious way.
Excerpted from “Parallax,” the poem that contained the titular line:
.... Scrape off the shavings
like the allowance of sin.
This one is from “River,” my favorite piece in the book. It is the very antithesis of sappy and inspiring nature poetry.
Winter froze the first half-foot of river straight down
solid, gray-green, encasing
what rushed beneath it. There are underneaths, enclosures,
contents. Frames, windows, houses, channels,
conduits, arteries, riverbanks. I’m afraid the snow
will press on coming summer’s grasses.
The river hangs names like bodies in the cold trees.
Order, Or Disorder is an incredibly varied and complex masterpiece. Each poem is well-thought. Each line break is contrived to quicken the breathing a little. Each blow is delivered subtly, lovingly.