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September 11, 2019 / barton smock

{ Hard Damage – poems – Aria Aber }


Hard Damage
poems, Aria Aber
University of Nebraska Press, 2019


“…every aunt has a son
who fell, or a daughter who hid in rubble
for two years…” – from Funeral In Paris

Of hermetic departure and homeless echo, Aria Aber’s Hard Damage is a work of deep citizenry in which words begin to sound like the words they were made for. Or from. I’m not sure. One moment I’m packing snowglobes in ash and the next I’m losing my footing while listening to a eulogy that distance has written for want. What landmark nostalgia. What shocked intimacy. Aber knows speech hides in the saying. Knows headline is a melancholy click twice removed from identity sorrow. There is no undoing in the doing. Revelation, here, is baked into the bone. If Aber’s imagery renders hypnosis a given, then this language has it go without. Be taken, reader. So covertly enspelled.

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