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  • My Sister’s Father

    Christine Gardiner

    The surreal horror of this family constellation (the father is seen stitching “a match-book car-bomb into my sister’s intestines”) becomes a kind of trampoline for Gardiner’s amazing leaps: “my feet were set in concrete,/ and I turned so slowly from one problem/ to the other that I was frozen solid/ at their center, and the whole world/ came into an indolent orbit around me.”

    These leaps of language and imagination take us to “another country” where “time comes and goes without a ticket.” Here, in this freedom, “time is the infinitive.” Hence, with the logic of grammar, the infinite—and even humor becomes possible: “And you sense the swollen heart/ first plummet, then rise/ to the still, scarred surface of being,/ where impermeable and quivering,/ inexplicable as the seraph,/ it quacks and buoys like a duck.”

    An amazing and delightful book.

    —Rosmarie Waldrop

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