Gray Jacobik writes of Morphew's poems:". . . a passion for the medium [language] and a deep knowledge of its possibilities, has joined with the practical skill required to make merry and make sorrowful, take us to bed and to bounty, to the odd and the familiar, to worlds-upon-worlds, and to do so beautifully, lavishly, intricately and interestingly. Reading FATHOM is a joyful, dazzling, elegant experience." I agree with her wholeheartedly. The poems in this book are at turns sad, surprising, quirky, funny, heartbreaking, and at all times, a tour de force of language.
Such as these lines from the poem "Apart": "Now the silver backing of her mirror veins the glass,/byzantines her reflection to dark-eyed grief,/mulberry-bruise of intaglio print.Another day/ to don Jackie O shades, cover the violence of her lips with Indochine Sunset..."
Or these lines from "Barnum's Fejee Mermaid:"...So she croons to him--the lament/of honeybees in clover,/dragonflies whose wings touch/ and untouch the algae-green/ ponds of summer--and he is mesmerized/ by grief. Her black peony mouth/ open and open/ as if she would consumate the loneliness/ of astrolabes, swallow the cosmos..."
or this stanza from "Deceit": "...and how once, on a trip to the city, she visited/a mercantile museum, losing corridor after corridor,/amnesiac compass, absentia pole star,/ until finally she found herself/ amongst Treasures of the Far East, uplit cases of glass/ exquisite with jade netsuke, samurai swords, carved ivory Buddhas,/ and she paused, time enough/ to ponder a Japanese kimono--burnt-orange tsumugi/embroidered with fire red coi, prized/possession of a forgotten geisha--closed her eyes to feel the silk,/ the wrenish toddle, the layered whispers of movement/ delicated/as the swish of green tea in porcelain cups..."
Morphew is a skilled poet whose vivid imagination and wholly unique vision is served by the high degree of technical talent Jacobik writes of to make for one of my favorite books of poems.
Sensually imaginative, bordering on magical realism Jun 17, 2006
The poems in this collection cover a wide range of subjects from Chang and Eng the Siamese Twins, to a woman who awakes to find herself changed to a luna moth, to the beautifully plump women of Fernando Botero's paintings, to stories from the author's southern background. These narratives are told in a lush and lyrical language, rich with color and vibrant detail. Morphew's poems shimmer, but beyond the beauty of their surfaces is a keen understanding of human nature, of human sadness, loneliness, love, and resilence, that propels them beyond the merely lovely, to something deeper--their words linger. These poems are haunting.