Monday, October 29, 2007

Blood Soaked Dresses by Gloria Mindock

Blood Soaked Dresses
Gloria Mindock
Ibbetson Street Press

Blood Soaked Dresses

Review by Irene Koronas

“Every second the crying of a wolf emerges inside one of us.” Mindock places humanity in a position of responsibility. not necessarily a response to humanity as a whole; she asks us to eschew our own idea of what violence is, this violence is also part of who we are. Who are we in any given situation? Who are we during crisis? These poems beckon, seep into us, “hoping for flesh, heart, voice, and tongue…” Gloria is an important poet. These poems do not yell at an audience, they do not beat us with their rifle words, instead these poems are prayers, a submission to what humans may become, not just negative reactions, but all the inbetweens. “my spirit accelerated into the sky. the mountains were happy by the sea. the enemy was not around.” the reader is faced with an inner reality. “at church, communion was red wine. a sip - I wanted it all. to drink would make my life last. make me immune…” the loss the pain, letting go of constructs, then replacing the known for what is present.

It is almost impossible for me to review this book because the beckoning is so strong, I’m drawn in and get lost and find it difficult to give words to what might not be in my capacity to give in this particular circumstance. Mindock says what most poets cannot write. Her approach is done with great humility and grace.

This book is a must, a collection of poems that rips off the page and settles into the heart. “this is not pleasant - we are both victims.”

Irene Koronas
Poetry Editor
Wilderness House Literary Review

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