133.1: Grace Marie Grafton:: Gilded & Ghosts & Moving present & Stop, dead
11 March 2013
Last week, many of us writers were huddled in the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, trying to stay warm in the midst of a snow storm, sane in the midst of the wonderful and overwhelming AWP conference. For three days, I sat at at the TOA table in the book fair talking about our journal to old friends and new acquaintances. One of the more common questions was about the origins of our journal's name, which comes from these lines in Henry V: "Consideration, like an angel, came / and whipped the offending Adam out of him." Normally when I envision this, I think of consideration striking with a whip. But, as I read this week's poems by Grace Marie Grafton, I find myself envisioning something else—a whipping around. As one line turns to the next, Grafton spins us from one image to the next, one world to the next: "Nothing was said to her, it was small town fear / Where the disc had scooped earth away from roots / During the war and then Korea, her alcoholic cousin mustered out." We find ourselves on rapidly shifting ground, moving from a small town to the act of digging to watching a family member prepare for war. Each poem's collection of images accumulate into a dizzying, single entity. Our ability to make sense of each poem is strained to a breaking point, mimicking our daily challenge to make sense of our worlds. A challenge that Grafton reminds us we will spend "[t]he rest of life to untangle."