Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Day Mark: Poems by Lee Briccetti: ( Four Way Books POB 535, Village Station N.Y. 10014) http://fourwaybooks.com/ $15.

During poetry month in April 2006, I went down to New York City to attend the “Poets House Showcase,” and reception for poetry publications for the year 2005. Housed in the SOHO section of the city, “Poets House,” a venerable resource for poetry and poets for decades, is going to move to the Battery Park section on the lower tip of Manhattan. At the reception I had the pleasure to meet Lee Briccetti, the executive director of “ Poet’s House.” Later I received a copy of her first poetry collection: “Day Mark.” Being somewhat of a poetry activist myself, it is always heartening to see a fellow activist come out with a book of his or her own work. So often we promote other “stuff” and let our own work hang in the wind. Briccetti’s “Day Mark,” definitely will leave its mark. The poetry is vivid, ethereal, and has a deep emotional investment.

Personally I love poems about collections of any sort. Poems that are lists, artfully done can illuminate the textures of our lives. In “Apartment Archive,” Briccetti, who oversees a large archive of books at “Poet’s House, uses an archive of concrete images with evocative affect:

“ Moving to the 36th floor, facing south, I had the illusion of living in open
sky, in two rooms of things around me. And because I had packed
my dead father’s house,

I imagined my posthumous life refracted in the implicit intimacies of my
collected thing…

--blue airmail letters, buried bones I alternately dig up or bark at;

--and the rabbit fur hat my best friend gave me in third grade, glamorous
awaitedness of womanhood;…

--Modest and lucky, it’s the view of the river I still love, blue-gray abundance

spread out like the ancient silvery times I live by

And in the title poem: “Day Mark” we have an enigmatic and moody piece concerning the post 9/11 aftershock:

“… There is a blister on my mind.
I agree to that.

Moment as the plane, four blocks away,
Turned, angling in—and I knew

They would be dead but I would live.

And so it is.

Time, a membrane
We both slipped through, into the next
Moment when I could scream.

Personality swallowed itself to a nerve:


I live
Above the pit, river
A gorgeous frame

For abundant new morning light.

This is an accomplished first collection by Lee Briccetti.

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

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