Wednesday, February 15, 2006

OH Angel. Gloria Mindock. ( U SOKU STAMPA, Springfield, VA)

Gloria Mindock, Somerville poet, writer, and founder of the “Cervena Barva Press” has a new collection of poetry out titled: “Oh Angel.” Mindock writes: “ Inspiration for these poems come from a friend who lives in Central America. She prays to a different angel for every situation she encounters.” The angel in this collection doesn’t so much protect or even talk with the poet, but acts as a conduit for Mindock to think out loud. Mindock, wrote me in an email that she has an interest in death, and she feels, at least in this country, it is feared and pushed into the background. In her poem “Bridge,” Mindock talks with the angel about our inevitable decline:

“The angels are ripping our
bodies apart, they’re butchering corpses.
Look, we can’t conceal that our flesh is dying.
Insects multiply in our blood.
And if this isn’t enough, we can’t
talk about it.
Hands are shaky. We are afraid of
breaking down, becoming weak, and being
killed by pity.
Silence is better.
A slight wound touches us.
We can nourish ourselves with this.”

In Vacationing Angel” the poet addresses an absent angel that she depends on for “pockets of air so/we can embrace this slaughter.”

Our bones and skin are static--
In fact, if you haven’t had plenty of dreams, you
will drop off this planet
One can’t survive on knowledge.
Hollow and silent, we are waiting
to die with a few pauses in-between
Nevertheless, we keep going….
Some years ago I published a poetry collection by Hugh Fox “Angel of Death.” Angels, I found, can be an excellent conceit for a poem, as long as they don’t become harp-playing ciphers. Mindock’s angel is a fount for profound ontological inquiry.

Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update/ Feb. 2006/Somerville, Mass.


  1. Anonymous12:28 PM

    For years I have been writing poetry, some published, and some I feel are such a part of myself that I fail to let go. Perhaps because of insecurity , perhaps because I am just not quite ready to share much of what I think with others quite yet for fear I am giving a part of myself away. I read poetry like this one and feel betrayed that it is so far out of my reach to understand the profound message it is trying to portray. I love to educate more children on the benefit and knowledge poetry has to offer but I hear the same sad echoes, ''What the hell was that about'' People need to understand the depth of what the poet is trying to put across instead of their work being something only they understand. Most people are not that educated or spiritually in touch literally with the effect of the written word, and it needs to be easier accessible to bring more passionate creative people in, without it seeming to pretentious an art.

  2. I don't think the poems here are not accessible, read them over--they are pretty straight forward. I agree with you about accessibility...that is one quality I look for.