On Tact, & the Made Up World
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“Michele Glazer’s poems let themselves be stained by their encounters with the wild; they send out runners; are viviparous; they abound with what Thoreau calls ‘intelligence with the earth.’ Though they are just as likely to converse with daguerreotypes, blown-glass blossoms, graphite drawings, or any other devised means of representing nature as they are to proceed from the direct encounter with the robin at the birdbath, by some magical transubstantiation of word into flesh, these poems surely become the living things that inspire them. Glazer presents her artistry in prime flower: full, entrancing, and, most of all, vital.”—D. A. Powell
“These poems seem balanced on the edge of an enormity, desperate to be changed or ‘stained’ by what’s unseen. Continually changing scale, stuttering and beginning again at the border where perspective suddenly turns ‘abstract,’ Michele Glazer’s poems remind me of Elizabeth Bishop’s in their dramatization of the human cost of our need to map and know and understand.”—Thomas Gardner, author, A Door Ajar: Contemporary Writers and Emily Dickinson
“’I think you see me for nearly what I am,’ writes Michele Glazer, confronting the limits of language and observation with a rare stoicism and steady gaze reminiscent of Elizabeth Bishop. ‘The mind suffers / its margins of attention’ while offering us these consolations: exhilarating visions and re-visions, great beauty where we least expect it, and an encounter with the tensions and sensuality of sound, speech, and syntax. Glazer’s fiercely delicate sensibility renders the seen and unseen world startling and wondrous.”—Dora Malech, author, Shore Ordered Ocean and Say So
“Michele Glazer’s amazing new book takes on the powers and anxieties of transformation, as its subjects emerge from cellular states into systems of complex, interdependent need; as healthy organisms blossom into decay and disintegration; as inarticulable depths of sorrow are syntactically forged into the most natural made thing, the most artificial living being, of all: the true poem. Glazer is cut from no one’s mold, as individual in her powers of attention and feeling as in her stark orneriness, proceeding with cautious immoderation ‘as if sideways was the straightest way.’ This is a work of gorgeous resilience. It reminds me why I need poetry in my life.”—Mark Levine, author, The Wilds
Michele Glazer’s poems take on questions of being and value, exploring not just what is, but how it is. The poems trouble borders—between self and other, old and young, sick and well, stranger and intimate; between physical states in processes of decay; and between line and phrase, sentence and interruption, prose and poem, resisting the desire for something irrefutable with an abiding skepticism.
The poems are drawn to missteps in perception and in language, those fractures that promise to crack open a surface to yield some other, greater meaning: “What is looked at is changed / what is looked for is gone.” From this collision of passion and severity come poems that are strange and darkly beautiful.