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June 20, 2018 / barton smock

a review of Heather Minette’s Half Light, by George Salis


How to describe Heather Minette’s Half Light? Half-asleep, “half-awake,” half-empty, “half-asking,” half-full, “half-note,” half-life, “half-moon,” half-dark, “half-light.” Each poem is a sparse vignette (in both meanings of the word), mostly colloquial in tone and expertly half-finished in a way that allows for a cosmos of unremembrances to enclose every stanza, navigated by a vague meditation.

Across these pages, Minette is mourning memory and remembering mourning. For example, in “Christmas ’88,” while the narrator watches a VHS of Christmas past with her brother, noting that the family members in the video are changed or deceased or both, she is struck with a spasm that causes her to knock her brother’s wine glass onto the rug and “I watch the kidney-shaped stain fade from purple to gray/ and I will it to settle,/ so that if I lose him like the others,/ there will be tangible history/ of this night/—a memory…

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