cloudlife by Stefanie Marlis

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Aphoristic, enigmatic, and startling Stefanie Marlis' newest collection cloudlife evinces her gift for pressing absence into presence though and while "we turn daily/ from volumes/ to what we feel we know." Part elegy for her father, and the brisance of his twentieth century, part cautionary tale for this one, mediated by Southwestern clouds, mesquite, dung beetles, and "bunchgrass decked with crystals/ on the one day of the year all the stores close." Once more Marlis converts an intimate history into a distinctive, austere expression. Meanwhile "A bitter storm blows over the lake/ the man slides an egg into a drawer."

—C.D. Wright