Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Congratulations to Susan Rich, whose new book The Alchemist's Kitchen is hot off the press. I had the pleasure of celebrating the arrival of the first copies with Susan and KF over cocktails at the Sorrento the other night. It's a lovely book. Susan is a dear friend, and writing group member, and I know many of the poems from the past years of group. I especially love familiar (to me) poems such as "Food for Fallen Angels," "Tulip Sutra," "Tender" and "At Middle Life: A Romance." Yet there were several new poems/surprises in the book as well. Here is a sample, from a series of poems drawn from the life of photographer Myra Albert Wiggins (1869 -1956). I just love the accumulating "f" sounds in the first four stanzas, and how they return in the final lines with family, fedora and fruit:

Late Romance

She cannot save herself
from the allure of the new

the frame of formation
finding her subject

the memory made flesh in the catch of an F-stop.

She recalibrates her life --
a dress, a table, a coiled bowl;

collects Japanese paper and pools
of the pharmacist's blue

potions. Reverses
everything in the family's

dark rooms. The absent
husband to fedora --

the children to a plate of autumn fruit.


1 comment:

Susan Rich said...

Dear Peter,
Thank you for coming out and celebrating at the Sorrento! I am so glad you are enjoying the poems!