Thursday, May 02, 2024

Gabrielle Octavia Rucker, Dereliction



tread lightly
everything holds weight

grows wider
through dreamtime

steady coaxing
fuels rotation

each birthing
a cycle

in its avoidance

a vessel
to drive

riding higher                )
on repentance

so often
no meaning

for our sake

a ripple of truth

It took a while, but I’m just now getting to Great Lakes poet Gabrielle Octavia Rucker’s full-length poetry debut, Dereliction (The Song Cave, 2022), a collection of poems composed in two equal halves that fit together perfectly. The first section/half is the extended sequence “Murmurs,” a poem composed with such a delicate and light such across nearly fifty pages of short, sharp declarations, observations and meditations. The lines are nearly whispered, none of which reduce their force. As she writes, early on: “I’ve been giving to mourning my gifts, / faithfully aiding in deception of self, seeding forgery, / a ritual of fictitious charm thrown against me, stuck / to the nape of the neck, barely visible, little lime green ticks.” Through these pieces, short sketches resonate one per page that thread across the distance, she composes thought as much as silence, an afterlife as much as presence. Further on: “There is no formal, no one familiar body.” The second section, “Dereliction,” offers a gathering of some forty pages of self-contained, first person narrative lyrics. There is something interesting in how the collection generally, and this section, specifically, works to place the narrative itself in context, attempting to find and place the narrator, the self. “I got older,” she writes, as part of “Practice for My Birthday,” “I remembered / a lot. Still remember / a lot. Everything / began to make more sense, / less too as the glass dome fell / reflecting off the distant moving / of the blurry Otherside.” The subtlely of her work is divine, and I am very much looking forward to seeing what she publishes next.


No comments: