What happens after IT happens? The jet plane hits the towers, the hurricane bends towards your house, the virus takes wings on breath and fingers, the surface of the marriage slips, like a tectonic plate that try as one might only has one new destiny; to drift apart.
Meg Kearney, in her sad and brilliant chapbook THE ICE STORM, gives us a possible way through, the way most fine poets tread: face the truth. Write the truth. Admit there is more than one truth in any given moment, on any given day. Find a way to bind these truths together, and make them sing.
Poetry is a both a haven and a hazard for a broken heart. Some poems settle for revenge. Some poems crash against the rocks of pity. Some poems decide for the reader that one can only be a victim, then stingily withholds the nugget that could transform the page.
THE ICE STORM is that rare book that I believe wants to treat the reader as an adult, by which I mean, it takes risks—it believes and trusts in the craft, the heart and the head. The poems and poet feel it can talk to you, directly, in a calm voice, and that you, the reader will GET it. Meg Kearney’s use of the sonnet crown is masterful, but also reminds us that a suit on a rack is just a suit—what makes it swing will be the body and soul that fills it, the unique way they carry that form into and though the world. Meg Kearney’s world in THE ICE STORM is filled with broken trees, bear scat, dead batteries, collapsed buildings, but within the breakage is the act of rebuilding, the lyric blueprint of what comes next. Like anything that rises from destruction, it is hard won. And it fits in our world because it is our world. Face the truth. Write the truth. Admit there is more than one truth in any given moment, on any given day. Find a way to bind these truths together, and make them sing.