Friday, October 17, 2014

Dangerous Goods. Poems by Sean Hill

Dangerous Goods. Poems by Sean Hill

Before you even open Dangerous Goods by Sean Hill,  you know you will be embarking on a journey through the world of poetry as the cover evokes the travels you will take. You can tell by the title that some of this journey may be dangerous.  You will have to think, embrace the experience and send postcards home. You will travel to interesting places in your mind and heart when you read Dangerous Goods.

Come travel to Minnesota, Houston, Liberia, Ghana. Several of the poems within Dangerous Goods contain Postcards or snapshots of daily life in history and on slave ships enduring the Middle Passage.  Hill takes you on a meditation through history, travel, love and nature.  You must ruminate on these poems as they get into the depth of your bones and stir your heart.

Hill's poems are edgy, raw and beautiful, evoking time and place. These poems are diverse, striking a balance between Race, North and South, love and loss.  His poems are a reflection on life and how time, place and history plays a role in your life.

I'm going to include a poem postcard here for you to admire, found on pg 81.

Postcard With Blood Stain

I've been carrying around this postcard for days,
dear heart; now, I finally get to write you.
Today I admired the local architecture-

spires, arches, stained-glass windows.
Speaking of which, don't mind the stain
-paper cut from this postcard.  I know

it sounds unlikely.  Beaches here are lovely.
It was actually a machete.  Didn't need stitches,
Tried my hand at cutting open a coconut like

the natives.  Well, in fact, while touring
a plantation I helped a local woman
give birth. Didn't want to make myself

out to be a hero. I have to confess.
I lot involved with the menses
of a woman I met at this great locals' bar.

Don't know why I said that.
Was something mundane, a razor nick.
Well. actually, in a flare-up of civil unrest

a stray bullet winged me.
I'm okay; didn't want you to worry.
Take this postcard and add it to your
papier-mache'.  Or is it papier colle'?

*Disclosure:  I received this book from Milkweed editions in exchange for an honest review.