Monday, May 12, 2014

Little Architects of Time and Space Poems by Susan Nisenbaum Becker

Poet Susan Nisenbaum  Becker


Little Architects of Time and Space
Poems by Susan Nisenbaum Becker
© 2013 Susan Nisenbaum Becker
Word Poetry, Cincinnati, OH
ISBN  9781625490476
Softbound, no price given, 84 pages

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

Becker’s title of Time and Space is exactly that: you know where you are going to be, who you will encounter or what is happening. In “My Father’s Lessons” Becker learns
how to swim, skate, observe, drink and more. That’s followed by “Noon At The Western Wall,” and “Elegy For A State Hospital.”  That is just the beginning.  Ms. Becker could have been in Star Trek doing warp time around the world.

However in “After the Divorce” she takes us all on a different ride:

Meet yourself—
come home at last—
hardly recognizable after
a long journey and perilous.
Climb into bed,
lie down on the white sheet
woven by your doing and undoing.
You will be surprised
how naked you’ve become,
how you tremble
and how like the bridegroom
you re, eager for yourself.
Pull aside the blankets,
look into the face
you’ve missed
and at the body
and, while you trace
still pink, spidered scarmaps
take yourself
back, whisper
welcome, welcome.

Here as in all the poems, despite all the time and space we see the poems are about Becker herself, for, as some would say, what is a poem if does not reveal something about the self – the author? 

In another poem “The Turning” you can see how Backer enters the poem subtly:

Four titmice on the sun-soaked birdbath.
Tufted, breast-blaze rose,

they splashed, chittered
dipped their sturdy beaks

through the water’s skin,
shook out feather on the warm

line of afternoon.
Their throb stole me

from my occupation fingering
the gash of your deceit;

pulled me to watch instead
how each took its turn,

how the basin embraced very
flutter and overflowed.

And then “Loons” which is what you want it to – sex, relationships, love, friendship – whatever.  Or perhaps it is about nothing less than nature and/or parental love.

Draw me to your warm
tuck, your tented wing. Feed me
the red, the silver quivering, gathered

when you let your body be
heavier than water—
when your neck, long as summer,

curled your spine to slice
the lake’s unwrinkled skin
and diving, you became a burst

of webs and thrusts and clear red eyes.
Shelter this down globe, just broken
from its shell, and flick your tongue

to me the song that coaxes
me into this world
and promises nothing.

Several things about this book are sure: it is well written, it is interesting, it evokes deep feelings, and it is a poetry you will remember. The poems led you to these different times of your life and into the unique spaces where you found yourself.

Zvi A. Sesling
Author, King of the Jungle and  Across Stones of Bad Dreams
Editor, Muddy River Poetry Review
Publisher, Muddy River Books
Editor, Bagel Bards Anthology 7 & Anthology 8

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