REVIEW: LIBRARY OF SMALL CATASTROPHES – ALISON C. ROLLINS (COPPER CANYON PRESS)

“Today a man in a white coat told me about my insides, read me my body aloud….”

Alison C. Rollin’s Library of a Small Catastrophe, reminds us that it doesn’t matter when you were born, or where you live, or who you are, your words only matter to those who are willing to give credit to each syllable. That someone will define who you are, literally give you a name, if they so choose. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how loudly you yell – even at yourself.

But, body is language. Code talking is language. Coding is language. Even “math is poetic in nature;” It’s just that people aren’t too interested in listening to that which they don’t care to understand, let alone anything poetic. Then again, sometimes we don’t even understand our own words. Sometimes we don’t care too, either.

Stephen Dunn, in his essay, “Truth,” talks about how nothing really matters except for the outcome. That the words we say, and the memories we have are only one avenue to the present moment. So when Rollins’ writes “Have your way with me, truth said in surrender,” it’s our time to no longer be voiceless, but to remember “I am qualified to write wordless / poems. I use tongued commas, hangnail / earlobes, peacocks, dipthong asses that / don’t sit well with others.”

Recording of “A Rock Trying to Stand” – Alison C. Rollins

Purchase Library of Small Catastrophes at Copper Canyon Press

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