Keeping Planes in the Air by Lori Desrosiers
Keeping Planes in the Air, Lori Desrosiers’ third full-length book is now available from Salmon Poetry and on Amazon. Here’s the link to the publisher’s website:
About this Book
Poet Henrik Nordbrant speaks of “the glow which approaching death/ leaves on photographs of people who died young/ in the memory of those left behind.” Such is the aura of singular brilliance in the face of utter bereavement and forfeiture manifested in the verse found in Lori Desrosiers’ new volume of poems, Keeping Planes in the Air. The poetry tendered here widens from an insular grief toward “finding beauty in imperfection/ how skin stretches to accommodate/ bones their restless march towards death.” We glimpse the poet’s vision in a space where “the ghost of our intentions/ lingers in peripheral vision/ like the flash of light/ from a torn retina,” and in those glimmers of an afterlife “we are torn/ between staying put/ and taking flight.” Keeping Planes in the Air is for any of us who have witnessed the ambiguity of holding onto our lives and loves in the constant presence of an impending loss that leaves us (and the poet) with a wounded wonderment ‘which is/ more than [we] can fathom/ or just enough.
— Christina Lovin
In this thoughtful and nuanced collection, Lori Desrosiers maps that country sometimes called the past, sometimes called memory, into which loved ones have gone or soon will be disappearing. It’s a space limned by nostalgia, which can be beautiful for the trace of what used to be, in the way that an armless goddess is lovely. It’s a place inhabited by spectral presences who don’t seem to realize they are going or gone— Such is the thrall and pull that this world still exerts over all of us. And so, the ghosts of those who perished in the tsunami in Japan hail taxis and reserve private rooms at hotels. The poet’s grandmother at 70 shoplift[s] at the five and dime. The ghost of Emily Dickinson speaks through her washbowl, her inkwell, her quill. In the ordinary calamity of our days, we seek their guidance and benevolence. Among those still with us, we realize we miss each other even while we’re still here. Love is a longing thrown across a bridge where someone is waiting on the other side: we call to each other, we wait for the answer. The poems in Keeping Planes in the Air live in both the waiting and the calling—but the poet gently reminds us that it is the work of our breathing that keeps things aloft.
— Luisa A. Igloria
typing with e.e. cummings, Lori Desrosiers’ new chapbook (2019) from Glass Lyre Press is available from Glass Lyre Press and on Amazon. https://glass-lyre-press.myshopify.com/collections/chapbooks/products/typing-with-e-e-cummings
About this Book
Lori Desrosiers’ affectionate homage to e.e. cummings is a little like Mozart’s Hayden Quartets: she engages with a line or image of the original and creates her own piece. There are differences between the poets’ sensibilities, of course, but the point at which they meet is a sweet hybrid of Desrosiers’ sadness and Cumming’s playful eros. Desrosiers teaches much about writing in these poems, especially that we are all adrift in a long river of language, and are talking to each other.
— Doug Anderson, author of Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam: the Sixties and a Journey of Self-Discovery, and Horse Medicine
Like e.e. cummings, Desrosiers writes about love and death. There is such sadness in her poetry, but beauty in her memories. She is carrying on in this life without her mother, father, and many others she has lost, yet she reflects on her love for her husband and stays in the now. Reading Desrosiers’ poetry is like reading small odes. We all are eavesdropping on words that are delicate and private such as: You can put your sorrows down now Mother / It is your daughter’s turn to take / the concerns you carried for us. / I put your worries into this stone. / I carry it for you. Reading this book of poetry should be a pact we have with life. So beautifully written.
— Gloria Mindock, editor of Červená Barva Press, author of Whiteness of Bone
Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak, Lori Desrosiers’ second full-length book is available from Salmon Poetry and on Amazon. Here’s the link to the publisher’s website:
About this Book
“Lori Desrosiers’ Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak enfolds in an origami of memory the poet’s life and the lives of her family and others. As with any fine poetry, the poems mostly transcend clock-time, soaring to a Blakean cleansing of the “doors of perception.” In vignettes alchemized from everyday experiences, the poet gives us an “eternity in an hour” of music-laced memoir. Here is an immersion in the dance of a woman who shakes off the shackles of domestic oppression; here is a gentle dreamer who embraces the liberation of being a daring writer.”
– Susan Deer Cloud, Author of Hunger Moon
“Opening this new book by Lori Desrosiers you will find of memory and search, of second-thoughts and playful indecisions, poems that go back in time to retrieve music and mend heart.
Indeed, the reader will find all kinds of music here: there is a violin that lacks music and there is a brother’s voice that speaks like father’s – but not when he sings. There is a reveille at 7.15am, and there is a young baby whose voice is known by her singing. And it is music that brings half-deaf father back from the dead. Page after page the reader will come to learn that it is memory – that beautiful, final chord, which reveals us to ourselves, and yet is unwritten by us.”
– Ilya Kaminsky, Author of Dancing in Odessa