Saturday, September 17, 2011

If I Take You Here by Martha Carlson-Bradley

If I Take You Here
by Martha Carlson-Bradley
Copyright 2010 by Martha Carlson-Bradley
Adastra Press
Easthampton, MA 01027
Softbound, 34 pages, $18.00
ISBN 10: 0-9822495-9-4
ISBN 13: 978-0-9822495-9-8

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

In reading chapbooks from Adastra Press, Gary Metras’s publishing house in Easthampton, MA, I have never been disappointed by the poetry they contain and If I Take You There is no exception. Martha Carlson-Bradley has woven together poems of appealing and clear images that churn up visuals as you read.

If I take you here
what do I hope?

that our eyes will focus
in the same direction –

low hills, for both of us,
edging in the field?

Or here, inside:
why should you

witness the sofa
too formal to sit on
Victorian horsehair –

or the Times watch
as it ticks on the bureau
the tips of its hands

green with radium?

My grandfather’s bedroom
narrow, long as a freight car,

holds its one note:
half warning, half lament

Here is another example:

Something broken grates underfoot.

Chilled, with my hands in raincoat pockets,
I study the Last Supper

my family discarded.

Disciples hold their sudden gestures –
fist on money bag, a finger point.

Tender flesh of a palm

Here, like DaVinci, the moment is captured, the action frozen as today, money is the key to the moment, the trapdoor of action, the sale of life. Religion broken down to its monetary base, its evil. Even at the end of a life, someone must make a profit, though not the victimh.

Here are scattered lines from other poems:

• A drip from the faucet; a tick of the clock
• Only winter birds a speaking
• a shot glass is lying; knocked on its side
• Exactly the hue of old photographs
• the world outside like flame

These are just five examples of what I think are creative images, clever use of what might be everyday things that we tend to overlook, even as poets, because we are too busy with our own lives, our own language to notice the obvious and make it not only creatively accessible to a reader, but provides a quick, Oh, I wish I’d thought of that. It is this kind of “fun reading” one can usually find in a Metras published volume of poetry.

No comments:

Post a Comment