Liz Waldner Trust (CSU Poetry)

ISBN 13: 9781880834848

Trust (CSU Poetry)

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9781880834848: Trust (CSU Poetry)

Poetry. Our senses entrust to us the world that the heart minds, and so gives us a point of view, the "sight we hope to see through (to) / Always." Deeply attentive to form and music, each of these poems, written between the early eighties and mid-nineties, serves as a trust for the mending of that sense of separateness. Ever the stranger in yet another strange place-in subway and orchard, ER and library, cemetery and classroom-they ask: "What is the shape /" of the story? "Who is mindful of me?" and sometimes answer: "Thank you, I have enjoyed / imagining all this."

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About the Author:

Liz Waldner was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in rural Mississippi. She received a BA in philosophy and mathematics from St. John's College. She is the author of TRUST (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2009); SAVING THE APPEARANCES (Ahsahta Press, 2004); Dark Would (the missing person) (University of Georgia Press) winner of the 2002 Contemporary Poetry Series; ETYM(BI)OLOGY (Omnidawn Press, 2002); SELF AND SIMULACRA (2001), winner of the Alice James Books Beatrice Hawley Prize; A Point Is That Which Has No Part (2000), which received the 2000 James Laughlin Award and the 1999 Iowa Poetry Prize; and HOMING DEVICES (1998). Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, Ploughshares, and VOLT. Her awards include grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Boomerang Foundation, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Money for Women Fund. She has also received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Djerassi Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony.

Review:

"Liz Waldner's Trust is a book I've been waiting to read for years. Political in the extreme, deliciously crafted, as menacing as it is hysterical, as intellectually sophisticated as it is laugh-out-loud funny, this book ought to be written in silver pen on bathroom stalls, sent as gold records to outer space, or written in gin on a glass-top table in your favorite karaoke bar. Slip a copy into your shoulder-bag and take it wherever you go" --Kazim Ali, author of The Fortieth Day

A metaphysical journey is never complete without it's quest for beauty and truth and the relationship of the individual in pursuit of those ideals. Trust, the award-winning collection of poems from Liz Waldner, is an ethereal collection of phantasmagoric conclusions and questions that both enfold and envelop the reader into a shared relationship of rich, textual symbiosis. Naturally, completely up my alley as anything even remotely suggestive of mythos often is.
Seduced into its pages beginning with the almost deliriously beautiful cover image, 'Self-Portrait in a Fiery Sea', by Julie Heffernen, I am deliciously struck with the obvious axiom of an untrue truth: Never judging a book by its cover. The slick ophelia in virginal stance with open hands of fire (while tentacled demons in the background emerge) does not dissapoint: The image fits as metaphor within a metaphor in that it beckons us to look further within, first the painting, then the pages, and finally ourselves.
The poems are categorized by the five sensory portals (eye, skin, mouth, nose, ear) making each piece a representation of the thing that it is held within. From the time the first pages are turned, we are greeted with fugue like visions which entrance with unearthly elegance and poignance.
Clues are scattered everywhere to draw the reader into the purpose of the piece, if there is such a thing. 'Truth, Beauty, Tree', takes its cue with the line from Plato's Symposium,
Only when he discerns beauty itself through what makes it visible will he be quickened with the true virtue.
drawing us into the riddle of what it is not only to know beauty, but the source of it - our sense of self and our senses of self. And thus our quest begins.
The first offering, 'Truth, Beauty, Tree' begins its reflection through the clever use of well-applied enjambment (which occurs with delightful consistence, forcing us to rethink the intent and meaning of its narrator over and over again):
The sky is a beautiful wound.
In it. I
would like this not to be true
but it is.
With a wild luminescence and sense of separateness, Waldner artfully demonstrates the mystics dilemma through her own search. Observation of the world features predominantly while the poems weave themselves in and throughout each other as if in response to the one preceding it, masterfully alluding to the nature of beauty and its perceiver.
The visual canticle, Booking It, lends us parenthetical visions such as
(gargoyles: A stone in the ground says EUCLID),
(crescent moons of keratin-man/encrusts the brick wall)
while detailing the extraordinary within the construct of every day ordinariness,
a chinese man was sitting on a bench/cutting his toenails.
Each lyrical sweep of Waldner's brush pushes us to a new level of meaning. As much can be said with subsequent reading, where the poems morph and unfold and another new intent appears. Impossible to 'get' upon the first reading, we are nevertheless entranced by the mesmerizing voice of the narrator. Intelligent, fantastical and a never-ending delight, Trust draws its reader in with cleverness and wit, and gives us fresh pause to remember what the truest art of poetry is: the ability to undo words,
and then undo us with them. ---- --Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman, CommonLine the E-Journal

"At a time when defamiliarization has almost become de rigeur, Liz Waldner's poems do the opposite, and instead refamiliarize us with the physical and perceptual world. In this book, 'The body is the vehicle of a wish,'and 'The earth / Is a fault in you.' Often metonymic and metaphysical, and always searching for truth in the most minute corner, Trust invites its readers to close their eyes, lean back, let go." --Mary Biddinger, author of Prairie Fever

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