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June 18, 2019 / barton smock

{ whole / year }


A year ago, {isacoustic*} released Heather Minette’s Half Light.

Had and still have, for its words, these:

As a child, I told my mother the alphabet was broken after I’d seen it, for the first time, written down. Something about it, there, all in one place. Also, I wouldn’t hold my breath in front of my action figures. I tell you these, here, because it seems necessary to repeat them as is, as summoned, in my reading of Heather Minette’s Half Light. These are poems of ash and glyph. Of men who believe cigarette over bridge and of women who sculpt faces that their own might become unstuck. These are stories, really. Cloaked urgencies. The statuesque inevitable. I saw things in this book and looked from them to see myself, in the mirror, answering a telephone. Minette fashions spirituals for the plainly dressed and has an eye, not only for detail, but for detail’s double. In Half Light, death has only ever happened once, and is resurrection’s safe space. In Half Light, Minette is six years old, nine years old, thirteen years old, and then born knowing age has nowhere to leave its mark. How does one flee exodus? Or record the unnoticed blip of reckoning? How is the firefly not more known for its time spent as darkness? I didn’t read it here, but remembered, while here, that I read, elsewhere…how mail carriers don’t believe in the afterlife. Minette conjures first, responds later. This is a patient language. This, an abbreviated yearning. A father goes from storyteller to jokester because, when laughing, we all weigh the same. If there is mourning, there is also the chance to rename the toothless mermaid identified by her hair. If there is a passing, there is also a poet who knows that loss is, at best, a ghostwriter. Minette knows what she’s doing. To read this book is to haunt its absence.


for purchase, amazon:

for purchase, barnes & noble:

on goodreads:

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