Monday, February 23, 2009

Nothing Unrequited Here by Heather Bell

Nothing Unrequited Here by Heather Bell (verve bath press), 2-29-09

*Review by Barbara Bialick, author of Time Leaves (Ibbetson Street Press

) In her doily-covered brown-paper chapbook, Heather Bell takes us through her experiences in building a strong relationship with a man she does not name.From what I gathered, she is a relatively young woman, both in poetry and love—but she has a strong, striking collection full of unusual imagery, which I hope will grow to be more deep in future offerings.

She has a developing poetic wisdom and voice worth checking out. “What are weddings made of,” she asks: “I found my ring hidden/in a gun case/…peace is not/our eventual search anymore. Someday/we will be just like/how we are today…” A wedding, she continues in “Wedding Vows By a Woman Who Self-Destructs”, is a time about promises, but “It’s time to arrive like a mourner/It is time to arrive like a Japanese fan/…like a boat…Everyone thinks we were always like this, midair, dancing, but that would also be impossible…”/

The wedding is not, however, the center of the book. The relationship is. “He leaves kayaks in your/ living room…the way he carved your/name into his kitchen table, misses his shotgun…could be an advertisement for Rayban sunglasses…reminds you of Kafka…” And of course he is her lover…

She drew an intriguing poem title in “The Last Three Poems Left After the World Disappeared”. But she gives some undeveloped ideas that even so speak to her poetic imagination: “It must be my fault, not taking/your advice: always walk/backwards from the rattlesnakes./Bees can hear you breathe.” But she adds “You will find /your heart only because I/left hats hanging from branches…” Despite long streams of imagery in these poems, she ironically declares “etcetera is the closest you/will ever get to the meaning of your love…”

Heather Bell graduated in 2005 from Oswego State University in Oswego, New York.Keep your eyes open for her name, which I’m guessing will be heard again.

Barbara Bialick is the author of TIME LEAVES (Ibbetson Street Press).

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