Thursday, May 03, 2012

A Life in The Day by Cathy Porter

A Life in The Day
Cathy Porter
Finishing Line Press
2012  ISBN 1-59924-964-2

“Fear has a certain smell;
a sickly sweet enticement
chasing ghosts in the machine.”

Porter's voice has no fear, it is the voice of calm prophetic
insights. The poems speak larger truths. The truths of a person
who sits for a moment on her bench under the beech tree in her
backyard, or in the park or sitting beside someone waiting for
a bus. the words guide us on a path made from many walking,
on dirt, rock and gravel:

“She covers herself
with a dirty sheet,
and settles in for the night,
winter creeping up her backside.

Deep drags on a generic menthol;
smoke rings and frosty breath
pray to the heavens.

The girl who once smoked
name brand only?
No forwarding address.

It's quiet under this bridge;
not much traffic overhead,
and the cops can't be bothered
with this area much.”

A Life in The Day, is about voices, the poet's voice, the voices
of family, and voices led by inner addiction, or the small
voices under a bridge, voices on bar stools:

“So many doors, so little
time. Sara knocked back another shot,
stood up on the bar and shouted:
“gentlemen, start your engines!”
And most did seem to be firing up
their motors. Sara knew that all
the women, and some of the guys,
thought she was a whore. She didn't care-
their lives were nothing like hers.
They were born with silver spoons in
their mouths, not like the wooden one
she was born with, still choking
on the splinters.”

The poems knocks, sing like birds song, blink like signs. Porter
scraps the pages, asking the reader to read the signs of our time,
and to listen to how people cope with living on a one way
track, their trailing off speech. Porter gives us poems that hear:

“Sometimes the best course
of action is stationary;
when answers are not needed,
nor sought after...”

Irene Koronas
Reviewer: Ibbetson Street Press
Poetry Editor: Wilderness House Literary Review

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