John on the Chrysler (Poems of Love and Grief).
By Laura Vookles
Poets Wear Prada,
533 Bloomfield Street,
Hoboken, N.J. 07030.
Smoke from a Marlboro cigarette trails through poems which, in a very tactile sense, evoke a poignant relationship between a Long Island guy and a woman from Memphis. "You can't go back, but the past counts," Laura Vookles writes. More than counts. As she must accept her husband's death, so she can't ignore his presence whenever she touches one of his many art acquisitions and feels his spirit move through her hand; those same "battered and calloused hands (that) sawed, chiseled, sanded and built a wooden locomotive and a sloop inside a museum" were the hands "carrying me to places I had never been."
In "You are a Dream" the poet is telling her husband she is sure he still has a presence, that she felt it in something she filmed or photographed. While unclear about the details and who is even in it, she is not about his visible presence. In the dream she believes she's found tangible proof he's still here - "Even a candle snuffed leaves smoke/ and a lingering scent." This is what she "wants to think." Needs to think.