A Hole in the Light by Lucas Jacob
Anchor & Plume, 2015; 46 pp
Reviewed by Mark Allen Jenkins
Jacob’s debut collection, A Hole in the Light, considers nature and place in many of its poems. Sometimes place is mentioned specifically (“At Dinosaur Valley, Glen Rose, TX,” “Two Views of Richard Serra’s Vortex”) others place is more general and unnamed (“Snowbound” ). “Two Views of Richard Serra’s Vortex” is an Ekphrastic poem of a large metal sculpture outside the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum considered from two perspectives. The first, “Approaching from the parking lot” considers how “two of the massive plates part/ below…too much like a skirt designed to frame/ a thigh for me to safely look your way.” The second, “Looking back from the sculpture garden on the roof” where Vortex is “An unmoving tree like a fan held/ before the face of a blushing god.” Jacob makes strong use of this towering sculpture’s interaction with the surrounding landscape and his imagination.
There are also many love poems for an unnamed and a little ambiguous “she” (“Stethoscopy,” “What I Tell Myself”) followed by poems inspired by a love of language (“Compromise,” “Kiss”). The latter plays on the phrase “kiss the curb” that parallels the speakers significant other blowing a kiss as he drops her off “You smile and/ pucker just enough to blow as you reach/ the shadows and turn and I breathe a few /slow breaths before my foot eases back.” Thankfully for readers, Jacob, doesn’t ease back on his poems, but instead accelerates through each subject to the very last line.