Between the Crackups

Between the Crackups - Rebecca Lehmann

Don't be put off by the star rating. There is more to this collection of poetry than a star rating can convey. There is more to any collection of poetry than a review, never mind a rating, can possibly try to address.


This collection of poetry had me interested right from the start with its harsh unsympathetic attitude. But attitude towards what? Or whom? 


Think Georgia, Gorgeous


We take our bearing from the headlights

flashing through the guardrails, Nashville,

and a billboard reads, Good little tits! No,

that's a joke you make. But we saw one

in Indiana that read Fireworks, Guns, Cigarettes,

Big B-A-N-G! Tennessee's small towns rub

themselves against our little Chevy as we careen

through the Smokies. I grab the wheel when

you ask me to, put down my pencil and stop

following the law. The truth collapses. There's

a mountain that looks like your face. I say

I love you. It's not a lie, although everything else

might be - the salt on the side of the car,

the salt in your blood, the one-armed hitchhiker.



It seemed part of the attraction of this collection was the anger, disregard, illusions of independence and carelessness. However, I quickly found out that most of the poems were utterly inaccessible to me. Not because of the themes. Structurally, too, many of the poems were as elusive as the content. And, yet, a handful of the poems were just gripping.  




North Florida Rain


Don't judge me because I don't find anything as beautiful

as the sound of the rain; it's likely I've mistaken

anesthesia for aesthetics. Live oaks split the air around

my house. They don't know the answer: moonshine

or memory, perhaps trying to see each twisting drop amidst

the rapid veil. Years ago a deer ran out from the storm-slick

woods and slammed into the side of my car. The deer's antlers

slid across the windshield. Its hoofs dented lines across

the hood. Its nose was snotty. It snorted. A wad of mucus

lodged against the wipers. The ditch was something final.


Maybe the deer became the rain as it limped away,

the line of blood it left a lightning bolt, or question mark.

Forgive the intrusion of metaphor; I've been away a long time.

I wear a damp wool coat. Please page my father.