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colorado review 154 guest, huge and yellow,” a long lament for a lost lover. Wanting to “[build] a dictionary of definitions on your body,” the speaker begins, “First, your shape—an omission.” Conversation with her mother leads the speaker to reflect on “the spaces between my heartbeats / lengthening (like shadows)” (“Poem for my mother”). And when something dies, “What’s left is a hum, then / silence: black boxes in a crossword” (“Limn”). Of course, space is an essential requirement if something is going to flourish, thrive, and grow gracefully. Although often presenting stunted people in stunted relationships, the poems themselves are anything but. They freely and ambitiously explore the contrasts of love and loss, speech and silence, absence and presence. And the book as a whole demonstrates an understanding of the need for catharsis, that emptying out of our psychological interior so that space for new states exists. It ends with “A Ritual,” both the title of the final poem and something almost all of us do: interact with a lost love in whatever ways remain to us—in this case, via e-mail on a summer morning. Barometric pressure builds; a storm is required to relieve it. That pressure becomes a presence, and at “Lunchtime, the presence felt like a lover relieving your absence.” The storm itself remains absent, however, so catharsis consists of recognizing that This is the robe of loss, the wind creates a gully in the fabric. Neither comfortable nor flattering, the robe of loss is all too often what we have to put on. Dentz wears it well. The Cloud Corporation¸ by Timothy Donnelly Wave Books, 2010 reviewed by Andrew Wessels In the short time since its publication, Timothy Donnelly’s second collection of poems, The Cloud Corporation, has sparked a wide range of critical acclaim. Many reviews have focused on the mix of high and low culture, the melding of mythology and capitalism, and the ability to merge formal restraint with the exploding energy that Donnelly incorporates in these poems. 155 Book Notes Donnelly uses roughly one hundred and fifty pages to allow his work to expand throughout the worlds he creates, touching on all manner of themes, subjects, and styles. Despite this length and breadth, my first reading ended after eleven words: the title of the first poem, “The New Intelligence,” and the first line: “After knowledge extinguished the last of the beautiful.” What is this new intelligence we find in this collection? The new is not one of formal origination; lines are almost invariably left-justified, and the poems often employ traditional forms such as the villanelle. The key to the title is in the third word, intelligence. Innovating the content of the poems is more important than innovating a new form in which to put the content. The space of the poem becomes a receptacle in which rhetoric, emotional amplitude, and intellectual considerations are carefully placed. The post-apocalyptic vision of this poem continues throughout the collection, referencing the events of 9/11. The new intelligence is, in part, a reference to the new situation and uses of military intelligence in the months and years following this day. This was the moment when, unbeknownst to any of us at the time, our lives and understanding of the world changed drastically . We were about to embark on a roller coaster through terror, pain, togetherness, hope, betrayal, and ultimately disillusionment . We can recall our own memories of the events as Donnelly recounts: “I won’t be dying after all, not now, but will go on living dizzily / hereafter in reality, half-deaf to reality , in the room / perfumed by the fire that our inextinguishable will begins.” These lines aptly describe the struggle of the survivors—the realization of survival as a blessing and as the knowledge that what was reality has completely changed. To read this opening poem, however, and to read this entire collection, as just a response to this event is to limit its ultimate power. These lines speak not just to New Yorkers that afternoon but to survivors of all tragedies, large and small, shared and personal. Composing these poems over the nearly ten years since that day, Donnelly has...


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pp. 154-157
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