Facing the Mirror (June 2021)
Praise for Facing the Mirror: an essay
“If I could only see more clearly my own seeing.” So begins Katherine Indermaur’s stunning Facing the Mirror, a book that looks long, and longingly, at vision itself. In our occularcentric world, mirror and eye, not unlike language, are taken at face value, which is why the poet, interested as she is in depth and complexity, seeks to “unsurface things.” Indermaur’s keen understanding of language as a series of relations (words are “cousins of wonder,” “sisters”) parallels her revelation that “seeing cannot be separated from thinking.” The eye/I of these essay-poems moves like an arrow, gliding over the surface with piercing attention, but also piercing that same surface with intelligence and vulnerability so that the very tender heart of knowing is seen in all its raw and exposed beauty.
Katherine Indermaur considers how mirrors reckon—by reflecting back to us—what was always there, her gaze never wavering from the “inescapable horror, being seen.” In succinct, essay-like prose, these poems are observers to a haunted embroidery, a matrix of empathy and astute recollection.
—Diana Marie Delgado
Throughout Vortex(t), we’re constantly reminded of the planet dying, in ways both banal and apocalyptic. Birds make their nests out of trash; scientists calculate the point of no return. If there’s a vortex of garbage floating out there the size of Texas, “why even write[?]” Should we? Syersak turns to the Norton Anthology of English Romantic Literature, and, indeed, he writes.
The work is linguistically lush and occasionally rapturous, alternately elliptical and truth-telling. In one poem he writes: “coolly cerebral the trees/ in all fairness/ express their membranal/ feralness[.]” In another: “it wasn’t/ until I’d planted an herb garden & filed for unemployment that I felt truly American, thoroughly Arcadian[.]”
Maybe that’s all we can, maybe should, do at a certain point. Plant a garden, eat Egg McMuffins, and write poems.
Parting Gifts for Losing Contestants
The debut chapbook of nonfiction by Jessica Mooney, and the first chapbook in the COAST|noCOAST Chapbook Series is available for pre-order.
Praise for Parting Gifts for Losing Contestants
“Each essay is a cut that soothes itself—or attempts to—with love and the avoidance of love; blurted truths, secrets kept, pharmaceuticals, fast food, and forensic archaeology. With whatever works, and so much that doesn’t.”
“... a threnody on the impossibility (or at least the difficulty) of romantic love for the author (and perhaps the reader as well). Stunning.”