by Geri Doran
64 pages /
5.50 x 9.00 inches /
In poems of quiet force, Geri Doran maps the fragility of human connection and the irreducible fact of grief. From the communal ruptures of Chechnya and Rwanda to the personal dislocations that attend great loss, Resin weighs frailty against responsibility, damage against the desires of the heart. For the poet, a factory fire in late-nineteenth-century Portland becomes a tool for precise knowing: "The phases of wood are a means / of dead reckoning: burn what is built / and gauge your passage / by what is lost." Even in so quotidian an act as the planting of potatoes, Doran's sure, meticulous, and carefully calibrated lines reveal the intensity of our yearnings: "What carried us from year to year was yield: / potatoes in, potatoes out, like rowing."
Variously plaintive, passionate, intuitive, and serious, the voice in Resin tells how the natural world, in both its wildness and regularity, expresses and mediates human longing.
You entered me like migraine, left
like migraine a private vacancy.
The darkness outside is great and wild.
Blue plums falling from an old tree
demand we believe in wildness,
fallingness. What's the matter is memory,
shrivel and tart. How in this sweet
aftermath of everything the mind
should settle on plums (blue plums!)
is one of the mysteries. That God
and my window-blinds should conspire
to refract the light to look like plums.
Out in the wild nothing.
—from "Blue Plums"
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