Ellen Doré Watson, author, of pray me stay eager, on Deborah Schwartz’s new collection:
Schwartz creates a haunting and idiosyncratic Oratorio in which the individual voices of Devora & Maria open out to include a chorus of women, a chorus of men, and the voices of “The Market” and Mother Earth herself (who warns of “weather that is paper on fire”). This brilliant stroke allows her to interweave the most pressing issues of the day—immigration, run-amok capitalism, and the climate cliff on which we live.
Chalk and foam.
Ash and a bone comb.
and the over- ripe apple.
A tree has many reasons to give
when we walk toward it with a machete.
Golden Coyote, black-backed Coyote.
Side-striped Coyote, howling in the milky hills.
Red flower of sleep, wily through the cortex.
Red sunset with the squat houses behind.
Lupus grey. Sterling grey.
The biggest dog in the pack
is not the one to watch out for.
–excerpted from “Maria Sings the Song of Her Crossing”