In her macabre pastoral landscape Fiddle is Flood (Blood Pudding Press, 2015), Lauren Gordon conjures up a persona far-reaching enough to grapple with loss, grief, and the shock of intense change. But the poet does not hide behind the personal, instead she allows the speaker to become loss, become grief, and quake at the shock of a life turned on its head.
Using colloquial language and the cadence of hymn to a mesmerizing affect, Gordon pulls the reader into a melding of prairie, nostalgia, and memory:
prairie for corn and mud and loss and dirt
and the seeds and the silky tassel of half truths
and how you find God in the middle of a haystack
naked and crouching and warm and how you found
yourself in love with a doll make out of a corn cob
whose skin became your own, dried and sheared and real.
Childhood musings of Laura Ingalls Wilder and “Little House on the Prairie” fuel the mixing of real and imagined, of the body before loss and the body after. This collection only appears gentle, it means to wound.