This is the bark which used to be
A functioning face. You see the stream?
A nymphet breathing. Things who seem
Alive are, mostly, differently.
What if your hand were once a rock,
Your friends narcissi, your heart a clock?
Thus Epstein launches what starts off seeming like a neat philosophical exercise, the personal and impersonal randomly intertransformed, and then winds through a sudden volta to a contemplation of the death of a loved one, as I hint in the title of this note. It's a good specimen of what I look for most keenly in poetry. Skill in the service of emotion. Epstein's craft drew forth my interest, taking me to the acrid yet ambiguous conclusion.
Big Jack and his walking sticklive on the ridge. Navajoorphan kids dance for him,bobcat urine’s in the weeds,the shotgun barrel's up his sleeve,a Persian coin is on the wind.