The Obscure Substance of Sky
by Alicia Wirt-Fox
The poetic writing and images of Alicia Wirt-Fox’s The Obscure Substance of Sky are divided into three parts. Each attempts to evoke three distinct realms. The Obscure pertains to the hidden, unseen, or arduous aspects of living in ourselves in the world as humans. Substance describes our material existence. Discoveries in nature, in the body, or experiences on and of Earth. Of Sky alludes to immaterial realms, abstractions and the world above. All the sections weave ideas and experiences and the character of birds dance between each distinct space.
The Devil’s Fools
by Mary Gilliland
Subverting received traditions, embellishing mythic figures, the lyrics of The Devil’s Fools speak to and for those wanting heaven: modern pilgrims, medieval masons; seafarer, axe murderer, alcoholic; daughter, spouse, sibling, mother; a woman on pause, a monarch of the underworld, Eve stepping out past Eden. One country bombs another, there’s mass animal slaughter during epidemic, never-ending yard work, love letters from the dead. Humans sorrow and glory, mourn and thrive, treasure the will to live—with burdock and mushroom, apple and willow, cicada, cuckoo, brontosaurus, toad. The poems represent wild and delicious creaturely delusion, deception, vigor and joy.
There is no more important function of writing at this time than to call us to awaken. The state of siege under which human consciousness—human conscience—is living has not abated in the time since Blake wrote. The seriousness of the situation has only intensified. To serve our memory of what is truly important: to that the writer should be a guide.