This past winter, after spending some time in and amongst Monkey Ranch's wry intelligent ever so slightly absurd poems, I knew who I wanted to have blurb Stowaway's attempts at same: Canadian but based in San Francisco poet Julie Bruck.
(And then I read her The End of Travel and knew I'd made the right decision.)
I don't know Julie at all, but she was polite and professional when I approached her. And agreed to blurb, which is the most important consideration.
And, nearly three weeks later, this is what she came back with:
the closing poem of Stowaways, the surviving pilot of the first fatal
plane crash in recorded history receives a small box of debris from the
calamity, "to amuse him in his convalescence." What a fitting figure for
this collection's loopy juxtapositions and serious surprises. The world
in Ariel Gordon's poems is one in which everything
and everyone, from a sleep-starved human mother to a miscegenational
beluga, is simultaneously endangered and dangerous. If Gordon
understands our vulnerability, how "skin is a thin shield," that even a
birthday balloon, drifting from the back seat is "a kiss with teeth,"
she vividly reminds us that those teeth are ours: "If I had had twins,"
says the new mother in "Primpara," "I would have eaten one." These are
nervy poems that refuse to behave themselves. They are something to
celebrate." - Julie Bruck
All of which is to say that I'm pleased as punch. Perhaps even a bit punchy. (Loopy juxtapositions! Serious surprises!)
Even though I mistrust bumf at the best of times, I deeply appreciate the opportunity that having the blurb presented: to have a poet I admired that is a stranger to me spend some time considering the work.
Because that's what it's all about. The frustrating-wonderful-bewildering work.