A Sand Book

Tin House. Jun. 2019. 424p. ISBN 9781947793323. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781947793330. POETRY
In her fourth full collection, poet, playwright, and performance artist Reines (Tiffany’s Poems) presents a passionate portrayal of a young woman struggling to live and love in a complex world. Throughout, she imbues the ordinary with depth and uniqueness (“The sun rose debarred/ By the tall beards of the bank// Buildings”). Spiritualism is an occasional theme, as are music and travel (“Don’t you understand by now// That dust can fall on anything/ In any country”), and the poet weaves the personal and political (“i was in buenos aires/ bleeding, with a Kavanaugh/ migraine”) while investigating the ecological (“Do you remember when Fire and Ice was a bad perfume”). These and family illness and dysfunction provide dark backdrops, yet the writer persists in celebrating life: “pyramidal mandarins” and “Singed broccoli florets of my heart.”
VERDICT In a collection this large, some, even many, poems could have been weeded. But readers will be pulled in by the quality of the writing, which throbs with a Kerouac-like energy, and the poet’s worldview, at once innocent and world-weary, cosmopolitan and everyday.
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