Thursday, November 7, 2013

What's Best For Us - Linda Crosfield

Today's book of poetry:  What's Best For Us.  Linda Crosfield.  Nose In Book Publishing.  Castlegar, British Columbia.  2013.

Over the past three days I've read several books of poetry with the intention of blogging about each and every one of them.  But I couldn't, they lacked music, humour, grace, they had too much of one thing and not enough of another.

Linda Crosfield's What's Best For Us turned out to be what's best for me.  This chapbook is a delightful tonic for my frustration.  These thoughtful poems lack ornament but are never under-dressed.  Crosfield
writes in a relaxed manner, full of confidence, and for good reason.

The result is that these poems feel familiar on first reading, they hit that main vein of collective knowing that is under the skin of us all.

Martha's Idea of Heaven

     when I leave
     this city
     I will leave

     the face
     of the earth
     & enter

     a heaven
     full of cactus
                     George Bowering

Adrian, in shorts and a ball cap, Canada on the brim,
walks the beach he's walked for thirty years, calling
Happy Hour!  Sunset Prices!
Write your name on a grain of rice!
which he does, hands surgeon-steady,
a name on one side, picture on the other,
then slides the rice into oil in a glass vial
that hangs on a cord around your neck.

He made one for Martha last year
but she died before I got it to her.
When all of us were throwing roses in her grave
I tossed in the necklace,
her name and a tequila cactus on the rice,
and her brother threw in a joint
so she's got something to do in the afterlife,
Martha's idea of heaven.

...

At a scant 20 pages and limited to 60 copies What's Best For Us will only be seen by a lucky few.

What's best for us, the reader, would be more poems, more of Linda Crosfield's wise and entertaining voice.