March 25, 2009

Review by Mary Meriam

by Judith Rechter

ISBN 978-0-9729185-4-1
2007, 64 pp., $12.00

Life is a perilous balancing act. In a flash, the comforts we cling to can be stripped away. Judith Rechter’s book of poems, Wild West, is a wild ride through the perilous world. Animals and people are lost, fallen, chomped, bleeding, beaten, dead, skeletal. Several poems depict hair-raising rides in “the small world of the car” (Robert Bly), whether it be an actual car, or a bus, as in “Planetarium,” which I give you in full, and quickly, so that you can relish and be reassured by Rechter’s virtuosity as “the master-mistress of the absurd”:


Wow, I thought what guts. Was she serious?
We all sat on the bumpy bus grinding gears
as it lumbered like a wild beast pricked
with a metal hook just behind the ears.
The driver was in charge of her vehicle.
She was master-mistress of the absurd.
Sure Missus, we might drive over the railing.
Ok, I relaxed and watched a video
of what we might see up at the pinnacle,
the world spread out, flagged like a windy
banner consuming constellations and nebulae.
Our Milky Way reminded me of the enormous
space of things, earth tiny and to the left at the edge.
My grandson was mouthing the worry that the sun
might explode as we neared the top. His mom confessed
she had him on a new drug that made him
pee in his bed at night but maybe would help
him focus. I shook in disbelief.
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