This excellent poetry collection is conversational in style, sometimes grim but often laced with humour and always with affection for the characters. The poems cast a glance at the difficulties of relationships between humans and of humans with animals and with the wider natural world and many of them are worth reading several times.
We meet the old woman condemned to live in a slum by her daughter who owns the whole block, the former prostitute nervous about her first day’s work as a life model and a novice gardener who injures himself planting squash.
Schneider has a real eye for detail and an ability to link human life with the natural world in ways that perhaps a lot of people don’t find so easy these days. Here’s a selection of quotes to illustrate what I mean.
from Me and Josie Go to the Zoo
The lemurs have more words in common
than we do
His face was like a tree knot
across brick commons dusted red
like old gray birds
that can’t fly.
from We Have Seen it for so Long
the night smashes like shame
against the earth and stars
war in a small boy’s heart
You can read three of Mather's poems on Bolts of Silk, here.
Drought Resistant Strain by Mather Schneider is available from Interior Noise Press.