Some Churches by Tasha Cotter
Gold Wake Press, 2013; 88 pp
Reviewed by Robert Torres
The bulk of Some Churches by Tasha Cotter is a collection of surrealist break-up poems, elegies which smack of longing and regret. She shows the reader images, but leaves the reader alone to draw lines between their meanings. She exercises a postmodern ambivalence to form and syntax. Her punctuation and enjambment adhere faithfully to her voice as her images cascade from the domestic through the natural to the classical, pocked here and there by contemporary objects which serve to draw the reader back to the poet herself. These contemporary anchors contrast with this book's fascination with the ancient:
That winter there was a density to the snow. I told you stories
about Bird City, Kansas, unscrewed the glass jar of silver pushpins
and dreamed myself a sun-washed Selinunte temple.
I loved "Self Portrait with a Rampart," "The Body," and "The House of Regret." In the end, while Some Churches might revel in what's past, what one finds here are not just the dead, but "a cooled thicket// of well-trained angels reaching through a long-held death and finding permanence."