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December 26, 2019 / barton smock

{ Spectra – poems – Ashley Toliver }

ISACOUSTIC*

Spectra
poems, Ashley Toliver
Coffee House Press 2018

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As division so sweetly misses more than one number, the poems in Ashley Toliver’s Spectra interrogate the outward math of belonging with a verse of internalized indicia that grants its punctuated yearning an unsafe passage beneath the eternal rent of its borrowed glow. By skull, by lantern, by unlit moth, these are poems of pre-loss that language themselves into the sound of those who move to gather those first, those widowed, question marks might silence be given the distance it needs to identify in peace those spaces where no map sings. This is not quiet work. Whether grieving the grace notes of a conjoined and solo life or reviving lullabies for a reversible child, Toliver corrects within hail the acoustics as petitioned for by any soft disappearance that, though made absent by an existing then, is here revealed by a now…

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