Poems That See in the Dark
We rotate, blinking through the universe
in the fish net of time,
the stink of dying stars,
a glance into a black hole
made real to us
by this dragon-flys wings
falling into spring.
from The Chaos Theory
The Flesh of Our Dreams, by Estelle Gershgoren Novak, is a new collection of poetry thats not afraid of the dark. This book faces the fact of death as an inevitable and crucial part of life and takes a long and insightful look at ill will among men: Pogroms, the Holocaust, Oklahoma City, Kosovo, and Israel in strife. Yes, this is a lot of serious material about the loss of the past, the past dominating the present, the fear of the future, and the tears and chaos caused by people, nations, and the inevitable cycle of life.
There is something positive about embracing the twilight, as the poet puts it, but even in the last section, where the subject matter lightens a bit, the vegetable and trees still have their tears. Summer, in all its glory and comfort, is the widow. This is poetry that doesnt offer false promises or sugar-coated hope. The poet empathizes with survivors and those who have suffered, and she gravitates toward the bittersweet in the midst of the living and light.
Estelle Gershgoren Novak has taught English at the University of California at Los Angeles (where she earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees), the University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, and California State University, Northridge. Her poems have appeared in various literary magazines and several anthologies in the U.S. and abroad. She is the author of The Shape of a Pear, a poetry collection published by Fithian Press; and the editor of Poets of the Non-Existent City: Los Angeles in the McCarthy Era, an anthology published by the University of New Mexico Press.