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This week's portion: a Torah soap opera.


In Montreal last weekend, Dale gave me a copy of Disenchantment, a chapbook of poems by Elizabeth Domike. I accepted it without expectations, but when I started reading the poems on the train ride home I was delighted. When I've posted about poetry lately there's been some apparent interest, so I thought I'd blog a little bit about Domike's work.

There's a stunning short poem of Domike's online in Red River Review. The poem is called "Ninety Four Percent Humility," and it's here. Another of her very short poems can be found at The Golden Lantern; it's called Reflection, and I love its wry impatience.

Let me offer one of the short poems from the collection which struck me most:

A Fish Describes Water

There are prayers best said
only at night, in depths; water steps,
rubies in the mouth.

Winds ripple across moon grass
longing to be released by washed
stones. The rowboat

is empty. What remains
is song, a solitary gold-winged
warbler, the pattern of rain.

I love the way Domike connects the act of secret or silent prayer, depths and emptinesses, patterns. I find, too, some resonances between this poem (and its reference to song being what remains) and Voice, ear, a post by Soen Joon about learning to chant...

Some of these poems touch on religion in ways that intrigue me. Several of them are startling. ("Time to Go" includes the quatrain "My little sociopath. Trouble/ from the day you were born./ At least that's what your dad said/ when he set your crib on fire.")

On the inside front cover of the chapbook, Domike offers a link to an album of photographs. They're not directly related to the poems in the collection, but looking at them after reading the poems informs the poems subtly for me.

Dale offers a review here, which shows a slightly different cross-section of the collection. If you'd like a copy, you can pick one up at Meander Knot Press for a mere $5.

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