Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes. Kerrin McCadden. New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2014.
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Lyrical, honest, descriptive, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes by Kerrin McCadden is a thoughtful meditation on wandering through a human landscape, one full of loss and desire. Often elegiac, this collection of poetry accepts the world before it, acknowledging the quotidian value of our lives while also seeing the beauty in it. (Katie Rensch, NewPages review)
. . . one of the most compelling and powerful debut collections in recent American poetry. These exquisite meditations on the lived life are often nothing less than stunning, and are at times truly devastating. This gorgeous collection is both mature and tender in its reckonings of our shifting relationships with family and loved ones. Kerrin McCadden is especially accomplished in considering those who've engaged in constructions of daily happiness only to discover that what they'd begun in dream has ended in quiet wreckage. Poem by poem, we are consoled by the poet's remarkable reflective ease and her profound intimacy. The beauty of these poems is matched only by their sense of triumph in resilience, and its resulting peace. (David St. John)
At the four-way stop I wave you on,
a kindness. You wave no no, you go. I wave, go.
We keep on. You insist. Me: no you,
please. A bird shifts, a sigh. The penned
horse tosses, pacing. I mouth you go.
There is a fleck on your windshield. I notice your hands.
Rain falls. Your hands cup the wheel
at ten o’clock and two, then float
past my knee and only sometimes land.
One hundred times on my back, they tame me.
Cars line up. Birds lift. I nod my head into your chest.
There is a trail of clothing. I walk to the
plank door of your room. This takes hours
and hours. This is a small cottage and there is sand
on the floor and nothing on the walls, crows calling,
dishes in the sink. Days go by. We are still making
our way to the bed. This is an inventory:
black telephone, board games, frayed chairs,
coffee table spotted with the old moons of drinks,
curtains pulled back on tiny hooks, single pane glass
windows like the ones I used to sneak out of at night, lifting
them as slow as this stepping, and when you talk
into my neck the words settle in the hammock
of my collarbone, puddle there and spill,
slide over my breasts and I am slowly covered,
and rinsed. I do not close my eyes. Nothing hurts.
The dust rises in swirls. Dogs bark. You turn
your windshield wipers on intermittent.
Your car rolls into the space I have built between us.
I am up to my belly in a northern lake, cold. I am afraid now.
When I get home, everyone will see.
American Poetry Review
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