I Love Information: Poems

Milkweed. Aug. 2023. 104p. ISBN 9781639550036. pap. $16. POETRY
In her second collection, a National Poetry Series winner, Bush (Every Book Is About the Same Thing) presents a grab-bag of subjects: family, literature, writing, love, and the death of a close friend. Too often, there’s little feeling of depth or intimacy in the poems, with the topics changing in each new line so that it’s hard to know what the poem is about: “Concerning the bartender Jef with one f/ It was like the Middle Ages and I was like the angel/ Talking to Molly who was trying to work.” At times the reader feels caught in a web of pronouns: “And everyone in your dreams is you/ So you never know the you you are.” Threading through the book are feelings of deep loss, but too often the emotion is scuttled by a quick switch to a domestic detail or a joke. In a collection of 26 poems, nine are titled “Katelyn”; after several readings this reviewer still had no sense of the subject, only of the writer’s deep bond with her. Occasionally, there are witty lines, but most lack music.
VERDICT Stringing together random-declarative sentences without periods, some seemingly related and others not, does not make for good poetry. Not recommended.
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