Saturday, December 15, 2012

Plagiarist Pamela L. Laskin


Pamela L. Laskin
Dos Madres Press
ISBN 978-1-933675-73-2
2012  $15.00

“...big, bold words
that I would love to borrow,

if only for a moment,
so I could feel the mountains move...”

The poems in this book, bounce or bob, like words float onto the ocean shore, the tide in and out, the shells picked and saved. The reader finds moist writing on the muscles' dark shell, done by a poet who enjoys the find and places each verse in a writing:

“Bring back the girl
who lifts her dress
like it's an ocean,
while the water whirls
her into rapids
of enthusiasm...”

Laskin uses nature to surround the poems she borrows, the mountains or the ocean or “crying out for rain,” all the poems reflect what is there even if there are parts taken from a previous notation. The poems float into individual forms:

“I borrowed your words
when mine were wet and wild;
shivering, you lent me a shawl
to wrap around bones
that rattled restlessly...”

Plagiarist, is divided into two sections, 1. borrowed, 2. returned. As most poets, Laskin relies on the experience words bring and the phrases offered. She listens. She takes her time carefully. She lends to what has been before. She allows herself to be influenced. She mixes the borrowed, lucky rocks people collect like ocean mixes with sand and there is the pearl encased in her verse:

your luggage packed
with language
not borrowed
from Widener library
or the ivy-trellised buildings,
not the texts of Virgil, Homer, Shakespeare,
or the Celtic crosses
encrypted in vaults adorned with dust.

You have traveled as far as Odysseus,
though you never left
Adams House;

now you're packing
years of papers
to dress, undress, redress
journey far away
from where the Bard rages.

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

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