REVIEW: WHERE THE ROAD RUNS OUT – GAIA HOLMES (COMMA PRESS)

I belong here
with the cracked windows,
the damp, your denial,
the wild and the raw,
the lying dog-eared books:
How to Live to be 100,
How to Outsmart your Cancer,

stacked between the jars of pills
and the sticky bottles of morphine
on your bedside table.
From “I Belong Here”

In “dying is fine,” E.E. Cummings reminds us that

dying is

perfectly natural;perfectly
putting
it mildly lively

It’s a reminder that we are only supposed to live until we are dead. It is, putting it mildly, a perfect process. While Death is cold, cynical, angry, and immediate. The act of dying, while inevitable, allows us to take in the smaller moments, savor the background as much as the foreground. It’s here where Gaia Holmes’ Where the Road Runs Out (Comma Press) shines.

Holmes’ use of an almost-prose style to bring out the finer, more intricate, and intimate moments of life, rather than focus on the immediacy of death, gives an almost hopeful feeling to the concept of loss.

This feeling of hope, however, is not one of what lies ahead, but rather what has already happened, and how it has shaped who we are. Holmes does not simply want memories, but rather moments. Important moments. Even if those moments are found in the smallest of details.

If Death brings a flash of life before our eyes, and we see each detail of what and how we’ve lived, and everything that was once background became foreground, then Where the Road Runs Out, the new collection from Gaia Holmes is that flash.

Purchase your copy of Gaia Holmes’ Where the Road Runs Out from Comma Press.

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