T E M P O R A R Y | B U N K
Borg Again, a fawn with a church bell for a front leg, lives in a manger made from a hoof. This Cassandra is the kind of carillon that inhabits Lori Anderson Moseman's new collection Temporary Bunk: "...Her whole being shook;/ her running scattered/ her herd & those who heard." From the mountains of Colorado to the banks of the Delaware River, these poems ponder the ephemeral nature of human homes and homemaking myths. In the section, "Temporary Bunk," readers watch a mountaineer tie theology in knots; in "Temporary Ark," readers help mop up after a flood. The final section "Temporary Borg" limps its way into a dancing meditation on species and space. Geologic.
Kinesthetic. Sonic. Anderson Moseman searches for a safe acoustical dwelling place.
George Kalamaras, author of Gold Carp Jack Fruit Mirrors, Borders My Bent Toward, Even the Java Sparrows Call Your Hair, and The Theory and Function of Mangos.
"Why must humans learn / by watching bodies in space, by forcing a fall, by letting worms digest what bedrock resists?" asks Lori Anderson Moseman in her stunning new collection, Temporary Bunk. One answer she offers is the "temporary bunk" of these marvelously crafted poems, which give us a safe place to lie down and reflect without any absurdity or nonsense. The body, she insists, is transitory, even malleable ("I wish I'd been the pallet / Lazarus picked up when he walked")--itself a temporary bunk in which the deeper self finds fleeting refuge among the travails of work, relationship, and the physical and emotional floods that reshape the landscape we call our lives. These poems tongue the tough spunk of a well-spanked phrase. Anderson Moseman's taut images freely range between beignets, endorphins, linseed oil, and the "terrestrial legs" that grow and then retract in the fetus of a dolphin, suggesting that our own gestation of living mirrors similar periods of expansion and contraction. The bunk in which these poems recline is poignant, emotionally honest and, well, no "bunk" at all--language as exploration and ritual, or as she concludes her poem, "Belay," "Word all vowel all howl."
Deborah Poe, author of Our Parenthetical Ontology
"A Choir loft full of many accents promises us an existence not limited by torn ligaments, not bound by time--a place where one's mind is everywhere at once face to face with all that has been taken." Like this "Choir loft," Anderson Moseman gathers and casts body and breath into word and motion. Processes seemingly mundane--working, paddling, running--become testaments to difficulties in human experience and to the stamina it takes to write our way through them. "Like grandpa...more prospector--shallow pan and pick," Anderson Moseman excavates strangeness from kitchen counter to horned saddle, elevating everyday objects to "granite's song at the summit." Temporary Bunk climbs, presses and plods--flooding our eyes and ears in musicality's riffs and image's re-visions, with multiplicity in meaning and landscape. "Long refrain... Grace note" page after page, the collection sings . This is language and craft as intensely rigorous as it is conscientiously meditative. Anderson Moseman asks "You can build this structure, but can you flow through it like sound?" Yes, we can. "Bard spread full wing," Anderson Moseman pushes us to examine domestic spaces, ancestral and generational connections, gender roles, international discord--all timely questions of "home" and "homeland."
Victoria Boynton, co-editor Herspace: Women Writing Solitude
Temporary Bunk has the kind of spirit you want in a volume of poety --wide and surprising. You want a book that will take you places and this one will -- from the dry mountain expanses of the West to the flooded East, from art to heart. This wide open view encompasses the world, with its extreme weather, extreme politics, and the extreme spirit required at such a time. The speaker celebrates like Whitman, meditates like Tillich, and risks like Blake, mixing myth, oracle, and the secular detritus of “ordinary” disaster; word-play, broken words, leaping formats (including hoof prints), the fragmentation of our-species-selves and our utterances-the scary place we’re in: a cause for horror but also for humor and humanity.
This three-parted book reminds us of the temporary nature of human life, a western Temporary Bunk, an eastern Temporary Ark, and the temporary nature of the earth’s species attempting to survive in a millennial world. This trinity allows Moseman to provide us an expansive yet intimate response to the world we live in now.