“I feel them everywhere / The ones who left // A piece of themselves behind” — from Patina, comes my favourite line from Anne Casey’s debut where the lost things go, expressive enough to support the title of this beautiful collection of poetry.
There’s a brilliant sense of rhyme that is irregular, sometimes it even seems unintended, but that only makes the poems more interesting. The book begins with a set of poems titled In Memoriam, and as the title says, it is about what’s not now, and about being in thoughts of someone, in one way or another. The poems in this set discuss existence and what presence and absence could be based on the consequences, as in almost every other part of the book, but what’s discussed is not just this.
The book has three different sets of poems apart from numerous individual poems, obviously, and one of the other sets is called Morning Rush, and almost every one of us does know what a morning, what a rush, is. The fact that it can always be hectic and, at the same time, quite funny. Anne chooses to display the crookedness of our mornings in the Rush poems, and morning rushes, as are in the book, can be bewildering and still sought after; things that happen everyday, that never cease.
When the sun sets the day down / Sinking into the sea / The ocean on fire / Can remind you of me
— from Into the West
Then, there’s this no full-stop concept that somewhat says that the stories continue, they never die — not at least whenever we just want them to, they do have their very own sense; like the boldness that Anne inserts by a set of words when we expect something else to occur. There’s this part in the poem Smörgåsbord, almost as interesting as the title itself, or evermore, that goes “It’s not the cat that’s / Got your tongue / It’s indignation”, and all I could do was look through the line thinking how poetry could devise new ways everytime we thought otherwise.
maybe you learn / as I did that you don’t die, but you’re reborn, when you give birth / how you multiply this mystic thing that is love just by giving it away
— from If you’re lucky
What’s quite wonderful is also the measure that Anne, as a poet, takes to express the ever-existing daily chores as things that are not just what they are, but also how they are and how we take them to be.
So, as it is, it’s quite amazing how she makes an imagery of something out of an unexpectable imagination, or existence; such as in In memoriam IX: Spilt milk, there’s this stanza “After all the white / Clouds settle / Bare oak wiped / Flagstones swept / The air aloft with / Insides-melting promise”. It is quite wonderful how the flagstones could just be a piece of cloth that we put on the floor over spilt liquid (say milk, or water) to keep us from stepping on it, or could just be something wholly different, entirely out of view, and yet entirely visible; and quite promising how Anne ends another poem in the book with the line “I see you”. Something after this collection says that poetry means to stay, intransient, and Anne Casey shall stay as one of the limbs to support it while things turn out awkwardly every once in a while, because the collection that it is, is not just about being away from home, being in memories and being lost, it’s way more than that — changing subtly enough to alter itself with every reader.
I remember my father laughingly / kissing my mother once / under a holly sprig / It seems more apt / So much more like love
— from Christmas kisses
where the lost things go, by Anne Casey