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Paradise Drive Paperback – April 24, 2015
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One has a sense that there are many deep internal struggles and conflicts being worked out,
although the familiar and casual settings often seem to be at odds with the existential themes,
that makes the irony more rich and strange.
Always testing the waters of new modes of expression Rebecca's PARADISE DRIVE is a collection of contemporary sonnets whose narrator leads readers on a moral and spiritual pilgrimage from the roots of debt and despair in a small manufacturing town to the wealth and despair in one of the most precious pieces of real estate in the United States. Foust's pilgrim recounts the travails of her childhood home in Altoona, Pennsylvania to Marin County, California and her ability to manipulate her thoughts in the sonnet form adds to her luster as one of America's foremost poets.
The Prime Mover
In Pilgrim''s childhood home, the prime mover
was not having enough to pay the bills.
Her father smelled like failure because
he could not pay the bills. At family meals
her mother said they lost the house he'd framed
and she'd laid the floors in, because they couldn't
pay the bills. After the divorce, Dad died
in IRS hock; Mom's heir was Goodwill.
From the Sears Wish Book, Pilgrim longed less
for the Things than the glossy intact lives holding
the Things. Weekends, she worked a rag over
a rich family''s silver, vowing like Scarlet never
to eat dirt again. So clear then, the rules:
better yourself. Work hard. Save. Pay the bills.
Corpse pose the yogi said, so I shaped the dead
I'd seen: Mom-and-Dad in the years before
they each died. Light fell short of that notch
in the mountains we called home. I wanted
to stay but could not bear those long, dark days,
so I went west. I went west, lit, and loaded
with cord-stack: the family tree felled by blood,
smoke, and gin. In that first year of dead
and no weather, I wanted winter, trees
with no leaves, any word spoken in tongues.
Stand, he said, on your head, and it began to rain.
I dreamt blurred redbud. Outside, upside down,
a tree bled. Like in our backyard at home,
petals--small cups of hope--were blown.
These are only two fragments from a book of wonders. This is to date Rebecca Foust's finest work - until you pull one of her other collections off the shelf and get wonderfully lost in that....Grady Harp, March 15
The book is full of wit, truth, heartbreak and more. My favorite was:
Sloth, Just Wanting To Go For A Sail
“You could say I sonneteer like some sail:
on weekends, in fair weather, ever inside the curve of a warm, shallow bay.
If born a boat, I’d be that sunfish, tied in it’s slip.
Or the kayak that unfurled a parasol for it’s red sail.
Sure, I could outrace the fleet when in front of the wind, but tacking?
To tedious, too technical.
My sestets and octets–prolapsed.
But what is wrong with simply being, I think, in irons?
Why not drop the sheet, lie back, and bask–ah–in the sunset’s last heat?
Twilight’s pied beauty.
An ebb tide rocking the hull.
An eddy. The cry of a lone osprey and gull.”
How beautiful is that?
I think anyone who loves sonnets, or poetry, would enjoy this book. It would also make a great introduction for those who aren’t fans, or have never read this type of book.
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