Marianne Szlyk: On the Other Side of the Window
110 pages, $10
Marianne Szlyk’s new collection, On the Other Side of the Window, trains her whimsical powers of observation on scenes of climate change, American urban and suburban landscapes, paintings by Paul Cezanne, Mark Rothko, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and her own paradoxical past in New England, New York City, Indiana, and Oregon. It also takes readers to the future in “Easter 2116” where humans and holograms mingle on a rare day without rain. Along the way we meet the author’s alter ego, Thelma Gee, as she and her husband drive to Cape Cod and sing along to Pet Sounds. The collection also features cameos from the ghosts of Walt Whitman, Li Bo, jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby, and singer-songwriters Tim Buckley and Gene Clark as well as living jazz pianist Robert Glasper.
“Eaarth is on the other side, what might be out the window. She awakens fear, wonder, speculation, mosquitoes, acid rain, and ghost towns. Then we return to beauty, nature, animals, and swimming with colors. We bebop dance to jazz, cool rain, and indigo. Dipping into Cezanne’s palette, Marianne expertly paints poems and word symphonies. The water is alive in the park where fireflies make love. Her words: “Dogs, baseball, ice cream truck, waiting, trumpet, mountains, Spain, seagulls, birch, asparagus, iceberg, F-train, crows.” I highly recommend Marianne Szlyk’s book. She explores the world and time, future and past. Buy it, you won’t regret it.”
Catfish McDaris 6-11-2018
Returning to Jamaica Pond
On this cool day, sunlight
hides behind frayed clouds that
light turns translucent. Dank, green-
brown scent does not rise
from the opaque pond as
it did on warmer days.
After stepping off the outbound
trolley swaying into the future,
I once walked this pond
without stopping, without looking,
Pausing for breath, I look
out to Turtle Island’s rock
over which a dead tree
sprawls. This island is shrinking.
Rising waters will conceal it
long before the ocean covers
this growing city, my grave,
this shrinking grave, my city.