‘A Space For Dead Flies & Dust’ by E.T. Reyes

Written by Sarah Herrin

E. T. Reyes has a clear command of form that comes through in the way she sets the stage in each poem – a crime scene, a love scene, or a shade of both.  In the title poem, she immediately grabs our attention with the mystery of It, and alerts our senses as we feel the poem materialize around us. [It is the color of the dining room curtains:/a forgotten space for dead flies and dust,/It is the smell of empty drawers/the taste of exposed grinds–]

In a way that mirrors her graphic art, she manipulates language in expressive ways, without overt decoration, yet sensual and elegant, and her staccato lines deliver quick sharp blows that leave the reader starry-eyed in their wake. [a hue of somber on lace/it has a soft face]

Some poems dip into the mysterious as they draw on the tumultuous imagery of mother nature contrasted with the mechanized sci-fi-inspired intervention of humanity.  [a salty tameless tongue/beneath wild waves;/the erupted kiss from/Amphitrite’s lips]

All eight poems are amplified by a collage featuring a feminine figure embodying the experience of each piece.  In When The Light Goes Out, a pair of all-seeing eyes peer, disembodied in cloudy skies, where a flock of black birds have taken flight. Cacti dot the landscape like sentinels. In Pacific Tide, a woman’s face is half-sky, half-ocean, with a cascade frame of dark hair. Atop her crown, a majestic conch shell.

Overall, this collection holds space for an exquisite vulnerability, [and how her tears salted the kitchen/table gray, the color of her dreams when he/calls her name—the pain], and invites the reader to bear witness as each word pulses, alive in the soft light of a single flickering bulb.

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