What I’m Reading

middletownpa_20160910_172140_edittwo
Our premiere anatomist draws themes
as sharp as razors, has managed to stay
perfectly balanced, in full possession of
her craft. Each one is a gift, a rich visual

palette over sharp portraits of people, it
embodies the specific arresting psycho-
logical landscape, brief but powerful
moments, and abandonment, after our

failure and neglect. History is layered, full
of bones and ghosts, herself a storm of beau-
tiful, frightening talent. Like the estranged
lover in one of her poems, her lines measure

the vulnerable grace of working people:
What is time? Why are you wasting your life?

-Jose Padua

A poem constructed from the blurbs for Bob Hicok’s Insomnia Diary, Julianna Baggott’s This Country of Mothers, Natasha Trethewey’s Domestic Work and Native Guard, Patricia Smith’s Blood Dazzler, Ron Padgett’s How to Be Perfect, and Claudia Emerson’s Late Wife. Photograph of a building in Middletown, Pennsylvania, by Jose Padua.

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