In each issue of BUST, Amber Tamblyn reviews a book of poetry. From our April/May 2017 issue, here’s her review of “Serpentine Loop” by Ele Kraljii Gardiner:
In poet Elee Kraljii Gardiner’s beautiful debut collection, serpentine loop (Anvil Press), she explores the magnificence of life’s circular tropes through the lens of figure skating; the repetition of painful events, the balancing dance of love and desire, the tough climates of an existentially glacial world. In “Outdoors, Ice” Gardiner, a former figure skater who hails from Vancouver, writes: “Through an ice hole. Hidden from the/moonlight in the shadow of a bridge. The delayed/surfacing of the body was probably due to its being/pinned under an ice sheet….” The poem in and of itself is shaped like a circle, shedding light on a mysterious frozen body discovered by children. In “Main Artery Along the River,” Gardiner writes of finding a man who has just been in a severe car accident: “For days the sensation of his open mouth turns you/off food. Eat out of duty./The wounded take all forms.” With too many great poems inside to quote, Gardiner’s lush, piercing collection is layered with climatological subtext and personal history, sure enough of its voice to thaw the coldest of hearts.
Photo by Michael Levine from BUST’s April/May 2015 issue.
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