18 April 2012

Jennifer Wallace: In love

A quick poetic trip back home to Baltimore, thanks to poet, editor and educator Jennifer Wallace and her new book of poetry and photographs "that search for the place of self and the collective (human and nonhuman) in Baltimore’s urban ecosystem" It Can Be Solved By Walking, a part of her longer project titled "Shining Like the Sun" ("Using a variety of methods and media, the project investigates historical, psychological, ecological and social phenomena, and seeks to render the linkages between these ideas and the mingling of site and self") after Thomas Merton's quote "There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun."

In the interest of Full Disclosure, I was sent a pre-pub galley of the book and asked to blurb it, and was happy to do so. Both the visuals and the writing captured so much of the difficult beauty that is B-more.

In love 
because the city won’t let up
no matter how much rocking.
In love with this city
as if a surprise walked through the door
wearing suspenders and red-striped pants.
In love with the intersection
and its ingenious abutment of asphalt and grit
where chicory roots in their joining 
and age-old rainwater bubbles in the gutter,
bobbing toward the harbor and the sea.
In love with the difficult stories
because they are not mine, because they are mine.
The just-after-dawn light 
like Caravaggio’s on the row house bricks.

from the Street Corner series (Preston & Greenmount) by Jennifer Wallace  

It Can Be Solved By Walking (CitLit Press, 2012)

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