Item description for Flux (New Issues Poetry & Prose) by Cynthia Hogue...
Fusing lyric meditation and narrative perceptions, the poems in Cynthia Hogue's new collection Flux track the natural world and the self in it--from the Sonoran Desert of the Southwest to the far north of Iceland. In the tradition of the distilled and lyrically abstract poetry of Dickinson and H.D., Flux opens into visionary language and the search for transcendence.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.3" Width: 5.75" Height: 9.5" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Publisher New Issues Poetry Press
ISBN 1930974140 ISBN13 9781930974142
Availability 0 units.
More About Cynthia Hogue
Cynthia Hogue is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry in the Department of English at Arizona State University. Her other collections are FLUX, THE NEVER WIFE, The Woman in Red, and Where the Parallels Cross.
Reviews - What do customers think about Flux (New Issues Poetry & Prose)?
its ceremonious, incisive cutlery May 2, 2005
This poetry is haunting as the soul in its haunted house, its hall of mirrors, its body "too marred to bear," where the reflection is the body's opening, the soul's dash from distortion: a Dickinson dash, a paratactic dash through doors that duplicate in our hands & psyches, the dash of "second sight," of "corpse-stones."
In Flux, Cynthia Hogue takes us through the spare (both empty & additional) landscapes of Iceland and the soul, not as a tour guide, but as a mist, puncturing the visible, slipping under, reemerging, our heads buried in the difficult undertaking of being whole, being always at a juncture-"how we pull and pull our limbs / through an oblivion of snow." Everything is, and is not, itself. The visible & invisible layers clamp like dew to each other, then unfasten like strings from garments, like blood from the body, and then-always then, suddenly, without warning-flood one another with meaning[s], are both indivisible and ethereal, interconnected and isolated. In a world where everything-stone, eye, cherry, wall, sleep, children-is porous, what can be capitalized, but Flux, "an unsettling / light blooming into mouth"?
The speaker is at moments passive, but this passivity takes on an agency-as in meditation-with its ceremonious, incisive cutlery. Animals, living and dead, have a corresponding gravity-"a crow, found / in the yard, brought to mother / who burns it." At other moments, the speaker is so extraordinarily astute as to cause movement through revelation, every event a veil, and every veil an incantation, an aperture-"then opened a door in the wall. / led her in." There seems to be footing in listening to one's own reticence, to the landscape-"reduced / to snow we can't see through"-the drained scape, the "tiny bones dissolving." And yet the signs-coded in wind, light, snow, "fish heads in bundles," etc.-often remain incomprehensible, untranslatable.
We are subject to "this element that mutes even the road before her." We are changelings, our language conflated with theirs (theirs meaning every elsewhere). This book will lift causality from your glistening plate, make your bones bargain with your body for other edits. "The lake rises an inch. / There's no one / to answer"-this is our constancy, the fragment where the poem begins, and the loss we go through in the shadow of mist, of flux-"He knows that separate, / we grow." Within the constellations of objects and spirits: a distillation.
dusk-lit, ice-bound, haunting Mar 1, 2005
Flux is an unnerving journey through a winterscape. Hogue takes the reader into a land that seems perpetually lit by dusk or dawn- the uncertain hours, the witching hours, where the borders between this world and any other, the conscious and the subconscious, the knowable and the unknowable, the mundane and the supernatural are breached. Most significant, and recurrent of all is the porous nature of reality between the living and the dead, "that fragile vellum" that, as in the poem "The Sorcerer" grants access to traverse the two. The book abounds in portals and thresholds, the poet's voice proceeding in a rapt, haunted manner through dark passages- like trembling hands held forth in a pitch black tunnel.
The conceit of being lost - in a forest, or having lost one's way- figures throughout the book. "The Way to the Lake" opens with the line "was lost this fall," and is soon followed by the apocalyptic "After the Great Rain" where a seemingly collective loss, a disorientation is portrayed. Struggling for survival techniques such as finding mushrooms and berries in a forest, the speaker receives help in a dream, but the magnitude of the task ahead is depicted in the words: "It may take everything you have/ to reach for that." This strategic disorientation helps usher in the world of the supernatural, where the protagonists of the poems transform into water creatures "they cannot see how I dive/beyond rock underneath" (The Waterfall) or possess uncanny abilities "She has driven away-/is watching the trees'/inner moves."(The Valley between the Pigeon and Panther Mountain)
Finally, animals figure prominently in the book, from deer to birds of all kinds, especially the crow. The crow, which is featured in the opening poem of the collection, appears in six or seven other poems and seems an emblematic harbinger of news, birth, death, and survival. The quiet force of the poems is such that it seems they almost emanate from the minds of these animals, dark recesses that are forever closed to our conscious perception.
Unmaking tracks Feb 28, 2005
Omens and half-kenned messages trail through this volume like so many ghostly ravens fading in and out of pines. Hogue's poems have turned off the personal epiphany, sign-in-nature, and narrative-of-emotion tracks and wandered into a clearing they are among the first to claim, where between sparsity (repeated tropes and words, clean, short forms and lines) and complexity (the fusion of thoughts that these poems are traces of) they hang suspended just outside of determinate meaning. Rather than as a collection (read: miscellany, arbitrary library), this book is best read as an echo chamber wherein elements from each poem reverberate into others, forming unexpected cross-currents which wash certain images (lake, lichen, fog, crows) over and over with intense attention, lifting them almost to a fairy-tale level of significance.
As the title poem makes clear(ish), flux is both the element that purifies and prepares two bodies for merger and the process of merging, the hazy transfer of selves. Such mergings - of loss w/memory, dream w/life, love w/anger, lover w/lover - are Hogue's polestar themes in this book. Death here seems always at hand but never out of place, never "other"ed till it may be feared or escaped ("What Is Given You", "The Sense of Being Watched by More than We Can See"). It is an ineradicable part of the message we might never understand, though we're aware it permeates our living ("The Message"). Many poems carry as their germ folktale, myth, or retroapprehension of dramas in the distant past ("Tracks of Sand and Water", "The Changeling", "Finding the Way Back"), other flowings from these worlds into Hogue's.
Although not many lines sing their being up off the page, Hogue's obliqueness and precision ensures that every word contributes to the often haunted atmosphere of these pieces. Most seem parables of hard passages in life ("Like Exile"), or journeys never undertaken ("The Waterfall"). Such parables lack the pithy zing of a moral, point, or standard instruction, but in evading this characteristic, Hogue opens the way for her poems to speak to each other, pass along secretive signals that we make out only in silhouette. In this way, ultimately, more of our lives, and the unfathomable superfluity of nature, is evoked. Each page of this book can be taken as a trailhead with three or four slender bodies curving out of sight into dusk and mist. Where they lead, and where they end, Hogue doesn't seem to say. She has only led us here, after carefully smudging the trail map so that its inks run in spectral figures.