Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No, I Will Be In The Woods, Michelle Taransky


the house is in the warehouse the flowers on the wrong tree a manual in need of repair the remaining meat not yet being made have no idea how the blind in the silk flower assembly line a tree cut with a miniature axe the father demanding it the records demanding like the misunderstood a sum in the archive the archive in the house afraid of the calculation in the prayer book the reminder if you see him say I say it’s been days
The pieces that make up American poet Michelle Taransky’s chapbook No, I Will Be In The Woods (Boston MA: Brave Men Press, 2011) wrap around a single point, and even a single line, writing and wrapping around the book’s title. As the second poem, “WHEN THE WOODS IS WHERE” begins, “We came out here // to figure out figuring // out,” suggesting a physically real as much as metaphoric escape into the woods, expanding the metaphor to include all of the above. 

But the metaphor might not be all, and she suggests so, says directly, even, not to simply take the poems at face value. Elsewhere in the collection, she slips a warning, at the end of “A PROPOSAL FOR CLEARING,” that writes: “Read the work, don’t find it / A reflection.” 

Writing lyric and prose-poem, Taransky, author of a number of other chapbooks, as well as the trade book Barn Burned, Then (Omnidawn, 2009), No, I Will Be In The Woods is an extremely tight collection, with more than enough room inside to breathe. We are in the woods, after all.


Woods like a woods
is the last robber
ship. How to define
an approach after an approach
that changes. The current
and its anticipation
circling the clamor
clamor to await
a witness and his
dictionary. Both
a cross made
from the particular
trees sold by dividing
chair and axe
into ash

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