Thursday, November 21, 2013


This latest collection of poems by Holly Prado is for my taste her strongest yet. Oh, Salt/Oh Desiring Hand is a terrific book, beautiful to look at and hold and read. Despite it's wide page format to fit Prado's sometimes very long lines, and good size print, it feels like an almost delicate work of art.

But "strong" is the word for Prado's humble honesty in confronting her age, her losses, her gratitude for the small delights of everyday life. Some of the best poems are in the first section with the longest lines, which I'm not going to try and reproduce in this post because I'd want to convey the way they look and read on the page not on my computer screen and its limitations.

But I'll type up two shorter poems with shorter lines so you can see the power of her unique poetic strategy and the ways it serves her subjects so well in this highly recommended collection:


our own housecat
who has forgotten

the kitten births but years later
mothers me    settles where I am
makes sure of me

this cat we call Rose who wants to know
us and now and then in sleep she
with others has spoken clearly

why do they have language
only when we can't remember?

once in the canopy above
the forest we knew each other
everybody knew each other


so few experiences now    each one then
huge    today's is glare off the parking lot

nothing like appalachian murder ballads
or wild orchids    but summer glare
does recite the effort of groceries    many car
doors opening the drivers shapely in sleeveless
well-fitting tank tops

how huge?    I'm writing it down so
it's that huge because it's what I have
for Thursday's blank page

we know everything:
how to dress ourselves
how to choose a ripe avocado
how to raise our hands    palms out
to rebuke the useless


-K- said...

I've been a fan since "These Mirrors Prove It."

AlamedaTom said...


New T-shirt: "Rebuke The Useless"

~ Willy

Lally said...

I hear you Kevin, and Willy, great idea!