Even the language and the speaker falls victim to the flux in Pamela Uschuk’s new collection, Crazy Love, from Wings Press.”I will be the torture rack/that stretches out my own truth,” she writes. Her poetry is both wrought by war and tended for its beauty, both bitter with “regret’s venom” and exuberant with love. After all, “What is the tender palm without the tough skeleton/forming the back of the hand,” she asks in the poem, “Geometry Lesson.” The persistent voice of these poems speaks of the tension of the dance between violence and benevolence, man and woman, nature and humanity, as well as the hesitation after the music has stopped. Here, in Uschuk’s world of encounters, nothing is complete, and everything is moving, extending, reaching, growing. Even the buck, the chickadee, the tigrita lily sway in the gust of Uschuk’s rhythmical words, and the reader has no choice but to follow suit.
Reviewed by Emilia Phillips (2009)
For more information about Pam Uschuk, see her profile on the Meacham Writer’s Conference website.