Water the Rocks Make

Univ. of Alaska. Apr. 2022. 108p. ISBN 9781602234574. pap. $16.95. POETRY
In McElroy’s (Mark Making) latest collection of poems, readers will take a journey of place and people. His poems are populated with characters, both strange and wonder-filled like the boy at a pretrial hearing who is a “kid with an armful of tattoos,/ a do-rag on his head, and bright red boots…,” and Adam who is expected to name all things whether tree branch or bird. Even a boat is personified: “I am the boat you dream about.” McElroy’s poems are all about rhythm, image, and sound. “Here comes the water the rocks make—/ the chop, the chute, the tongue./ Drag an oar, slew left and tuck/ into slack for the strap grabbers.” This is a book about place whether in Alaska or Guatemala or at a “Mime Workshop.” McElroy makes readers believe in the magic of his words and story. These poems are a “…celebration/ of place where things that matter happen.”
VERDICT A must-read for those looking for a fine storyteller with something important to say.
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