Monday, January 14, 2008

Martha Ronk's Vertigo

Martha Ronk, VERTIGO

OK, so I’ve mentioned this book before, but I’m going to mention it again! I found it on my desk when I returned to my office this morning, and I decided to read a poem. It was lovely. So I’m posting it below.

About VERTIGO, from Publishers Weekly:

"An airy, evanescent tone and long, drifting sentences that blend memory with the present characterize Ronk's eighth book, selected by C.D. Wright for the National Poetry Series. Ronk (In a Landscape of Having to Repeat) masterfully operates at the intersection of meditative investigation and day-to-day domesticity."

“Cameras, he explained, came then to replace descriptive paragraphs”

If description could outpace effusions of feeling,
serif or sans serif, punctuated with dashes and in Amherst,
could one say it was a peculiar summer.
I tried to like what I’d always liked and tried to get there
sooner rather than later.
I’d forgotten I like orange until
on a scale of one to ten the petals ranged themselves
like swallows on the telephone wire
flying off at the sound of someone’s coming.
Something should have been a topic—
I had thought it out and left nothing to chance,
but the people kept arriving
never thinking to find the appropriate word for
what they were taking in and writing down.
One snapped a lily between finger and thumb
and one had hair like spilling rust.


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