Spot Weather Forecast

Alice James. Nov. 2021. 100p. ISBN 9781948579223. pap. $17.96. POETRY
Raised on the Flathead Indian Reservation, Goodan has long worked with the U.S. Forest Service, and this follow-up to his eye-opening Anaphora details the immediacy of the firefighter’s life while offering transcendent reflection on time’s passage and our being in the world (“Because the first condition of the universe is fire”). Fire emerges as gorgeous and cruel, elemental and terrifying, strangely life-affirming as it destroys (“this body crowned in fire/ While the rest are taken bit by bit”), and the woodlands it devours are vividly depicted as well (“Spoor-mottled, budworm-brittled,/ Fungus-fluttered, bole-blasted,/ Lightninglicked”). Throughout, matter-of-fact incident reports bring the narrative down to earth.

VERDICT Excellent poetry; engaging for all readers and especially resonant in these wildfire times.
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