Grid
Hagios Press / 26 April 2013

Grid by Brenda Schmidt Published by Hagios Press Review by Justin Dittrick $17.95 ISBN 978-192671013-6 There is a moment in Brenda Schmidt’s latest collection of poems, in which the speaker invokes the melodious sing-along of nursery rhyme: Cinderella dressed in white Went downstairs to say goodnight. Made a blunder. Too far under. How many shovels make it right? “None”, the speaker interjects, “The going is slow, conditions poor, traffic/steady. There’s a shovel in every trunk.” In this poem, called “Too Far”, acute observation is combined with commentary that is, at times, humorous and, at other times, distressing. The verses are fragmented, while the images mutate from the wild into the mundane, as though the poem stands interrupted in the collection, as an abandoned nature documentary. Yet, still, it belongs, with a marvelous image of a window onto the world of the poem: “Where in hell/is the scraper? I use my nails./Through the scratch marks/the forest resembles a bit of parsley/left on the cutting board.” That poem feels like a digression, and a telling one. In Grid, moments are approached in their apparent stability only to be swept away in song rife with interruption and fresh stimuli, lending a new perspective….