In Favor of Lightning

Rainfall in the Midwest 
 A fine rain comes down to the street.
The shadow of the fine rain is the whole sky 
divided by a door.
And what you hear is loosely like the flapping of hundreds 
of souls, if they are, flying just now over the wheat. 
Slowly the farm takes in the story of creation, 
each acre exposed, grey as a dream of self-sufficiency. 
Here are the spiritual slop, the buckets, the moon 
and the animals' unconscious bleatings. Here, 
the carnal state before it weakened, 
I and here you are touching your face, 
knowing it as a strange appendage, leaning 
it over the pen like a flower that grows 
between the difficult border 
of starlight and slaughter. 
---Eric Pankey: “The Form of Concentration”

“Molloy-Olund allows a refreshing amount of wit into her poems…her language continually defines and qualifies, attempting to encircle, to capture…the gravity of the meditation allows a density of the images, narrative, and rhetoric to surround a single idea….Molloy-Olund searches for just the right approach, and when she finds it, she communicates with an indirect logic that demands and deserves our faith.”

From A Review by Melissa Brown:  Iowa Journal of Literary Studies

“I am struck by how quickly we are brought back to the ground, to the winter which exposes the dreams the speaker has momentarily knit together”
                               She said I’ll die when I’m ready.
          And then it was over.
                                     And then it was winter.  From "Knot"

The gift given and received, the world opened and swiftly closed, embodies the primary gestures in these poems:

              Nothing I’ve seen is like this
                     Lightning as it drops to its hands
                           Over a quiet barn, releasing its brief
                                       Self in spasms”.  From "In Favor of Lightning"

...moments of intensity break through the dialectics of objects and ideas

 …the speaker knows how precariously we exist between speech and song.                                    

                      the difficult border of starlight 
                                 And slaughter. ……"From Beginnings"
Click Below for more Eric Pankey reviews from the "Form of Concentration"
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