Review of Millicent Borges Accardi’s “Woman on a Shaky Bridge”

WOMAN ON A SHAKY BRIDGE by Millicent Borges Accardi

(Review published in Rattle, 2010)

In “On a Theme by William Stafford,” the first poem from Millicent Borges Accardi’s chapbook, Woman on a Shaky Bridge, the speaker begins,

If I could be like Wallace Stevens,
I’d fold my clothes into the bureau
drawer instead of living
from a suitcase.

Unlike Stevens, a poet who’s imagined here as transient, the speaker wants “really [to] move / in.” She’s also able “to open the window for / the neighbors” to be seen as well as to see for herself; she’s in essence settled yet open to experience outside of the room. She observes and participates in the world of experience (outside of the imagination) while at the same time responds with the imagination “so that even the last bite contained / both cone and cream,” alluding to Stevens, the “emperor” of the imagination.

The poems in this chapbook are both…

Standstill Moments, a review of Piotr Gwiazda’s “Messages”

(Review published in Jacket2, December 2013)

In his first book, Gargarin Street (2005), Piotr Gwiazda, after “meandering slowly from nowhere to nowhere” in a self-deprecating manner, after revealing his motto “Give Chance a chance” (36), and after postulating,

What if the script of human life is full of typos,

missteps, mishaps, false starts, false alarms,
wrong turns, dead ends, distractions, digressions —

(notice the language here playfully falls into that “poetic misstep” of cliché), he tells us how to see the future: “Think of it as an enormous blank, a sort of dream” (60). In his latest book, Messages, Gwiazda enriches his conversation about the future, situating it within the present (and past), as in…