Where I Live

By Donna M. Lane

Where I Live



Where I live, Poetry by Donna M. Lane, ISBN 0-9729185-6-6, 64pp., $8.00,
RAW ArT PRESS, www.rawartpress.com.

In the first poem of this collection, I Want My Hand In This Poem, Donna M. Lane voices desire with a driving repetition of I want. . . ending the poem, I want to make this as important to you as your fingerprint/glowing on everything you know you touched including me. Earlier in this first poem: I want to transform the cracked jaw into a kissed/ cheek…and then, I want to be a meteor/that lands in your imagination to bring the moon/ to earth and hold the earth up against the light/of a word.

She uses repetition to form and drive the poem home in the poem Beggars which begins, I'm wise with a meal in me./Hungry, I'm a cold animal, and in Not Fishing talks about two crack addicts she sees in Golden Gate Park where the poet works as a gardener, He's not fishing for bass/he's fishing for crack cocaine money, repeating, she's not, he's not throughout the poem. In the poem, Just The Word Cancer, uses a wonderful repetition beginning with, Death is.

Although the collection is not exclusively about work, there are poems about family and love, the book is grounded in her working life. What she finds at work, drug addicts, discarded photos, what happens at lunch, even on vacations we see a man sweeping in Mexico, teaching his son. She reaches the bigger view through the scrim of work. Other poems refer to working in a lab, on an ambulance. At the end of the collection are poems about surviving breast cancer.

This poet is good at beginnings and endings—not going overboard, not too precious or too reaching, just good first lines and lovely last lines like in Blood. Listen to this ending: I am eating a sandwich in the back of an ambulance./There is a piece of skin between miracle and garbage./I am chewing on it.

There are three poems in this collection which I found superb: Rudolph Nureyev which is 19 lines of all one sentence that falls down the page like a waterfall, another one sentence poem, A Kiss and, finally, Interlude, a love poem that skirts all the usual pitfalls of cliché. Interlude is one of the most wonderful love poems I've read.

[Book Review by Patricia Edith, author of The Commute, An Extended Poem In XXVI Parts, www.iuniverse.com]


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