Roland Flint beckons us in a voice inclusive and reassuring to come see the everyday world. In Easy, Flint speaks of gratitude for whatever is good, true, and simple, though one suspects such gratitude is not simply or easily acquired. There is a gentleness, if not always in the subjects of these poems, then in their telling and in their reception.
“What is laughter to cure cancer? / or to surprise a darkness like grief / so that you guiltily clap your mouth?” (“Haha”). “If the colors of spring are no / brighter, as to Williams’s widow, / they are no less bright, or fine / to me, despite my sorrowing, / seeing them, you are gone” (“Tom”). Flint’s fluid penetration of diverse people and matters—manual laborers, the next-door neighbor teaching his son to ride a bike, Allen Tate, cooking, gardening, marriage, popular culture, the link/rivalry between laughter and sex, poetry itself—does not descend to the mysterious, difficult, or esoteric; people and life, pure and simple, yield bald-faced truths and exquisite riches of insight enough.
Easy is a marvelous work: lyrical gems of honest and wry delight in what we mistake as commonplace.
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