The snide will ever be snide, complaining that a marmot isn’t a red-tail, disappointed that the chamber quartet doesn’t beatbox, wanting white bread to spice itself into dal, condemning the popular, their own envy visible like a slip sagging beneath a hem. She neverseems to be in her poems, a critic complains, but outside them, putting them together from the available literary elements. Where else would a poet work, and what else with, drawing the outside in, a diligent gleaner? Another, deriding her homiletic upward yearning jokes that no animals appearto have been harmed in the making of her poems. No. Only that critic’s sensibilities. The rest of us hang on the cries of her wild geese, harsh and exciting, announcing our place in the family of things. We sit in pews, on yoga mats, on buses, at kitchen tables, hoping for words to lighten our burden. We want the ordinary to be consecrated, for most of us only ever abide there—no more special than our good dog sniffing the common yards of our common streets.
Devon Balwit's most recent collection is A Brief Way to Identify a Body (Ursus Americanus Press). Her individual poems can be found at SWWIM Every Day, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Fifth Wednesday (on-line), Apt, Grist, and Oxidant Engine, among others. For more on her book and movie reviews, chapbooks, collections and individual works, see her website at https://pelapdx.wixsite.com/devonbalwitpoet.