COHERER

 

On a scale extending from the minutely observed to species apocalypse, from the daily facts of raising children and housekeeping to the premonition that “cancer is tending / to erase the fathomable / wartech mindmanacle,” Alicia Cohen gives her attention to the righteous labor to make sense of an incoherent world where “housekeepers fix mess and wreck / unnoted among / galaxies of perfume earth” the Eleusinian mysteries long ago foretold. In Cohen’s Coherer, “longing is the only / belonging.”

 

Alicia Cohen’s measures step delicately into a century littered with “cruel objects made brutal-footed,” countering with airy vowels—a patterned, searching transport of the actual. Her themes are of the cosmological everyday, mingled with philosophical studies as much as of the sweat and honey of house chores, threading by ear “majestic nothing,” “strong slippery real,” and “sweetfat relations.” She is obsessed with calculation yet sworn to the incalculable. Coherer consults a “barbarous atlas” of sorrows, seas swelling with plastic, poisoned households, the suffering of “animal people,” yet hums with incalculable pleasures—“wild dear” children, the togetherness of reinhabitation, a “world of body’s measure.” Sourced in ancient sounds, the poems offer homing signals, echolocations amidst the shifting atmospheres of a changed climate, not around but within “molecule order’s mute mutinous din.”

Jonathan Skinner

 

ISBN 978-0-9889885-3-8

$15