John Daniel and Company
Post Office Box 21922
Santa Barbara, CA 93121
Review by Charles P. Ries
Glenna Luschei has published over 20 books of poetry. In 1984 Ms. Luschei's book Unexpected Grace was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She is also the founding editor and publisher of the literary magazines Cafe Solo and the award winning SOLO: A Journal of Poetry. And if all that weren’t enough, last year she donated $500,000 and endowed the editorship of the Prairie Schooner one the oldest literary magazines west of the Mississippi. Here is a woman with a life long passion for writing and writers.
Shot With Eros covers thirty years of Luschei’s life experience. Her work is well crafted and moves without effort as she focuses on those issues that circle around romantic love and its unpredictable ups and downs.
These are exceptionally well written narrative poems, by a writer at the top of her craft. Many are so well conceived that individual stanzas’ could stand-alone almost becoming Haiku. In Part II of her poem titled Water Cycle she writes:
Once she saw him waiting
in the raw spring mist.
She unlocked the door.
she quite being late
to keep from waiting in the fog.
He observes their rapid gust of days.
Mornings she drinks white sage tea
beneath the loquat.
He brings her Red Zinger.
She brings him the first Bing
Cherries from Oregon,
a cornucopia of cherimoya,
but it is forbidden fruit.
Once she saw him at the door
in the raw spring mist.
How much longer can she wait?
He walks her past the sweat loge to the gate.
I wasn’t surprised to see Robert Bly quoted on the cover jacket. Like Robert Bly, Glenna Luschei flows form concrete to ethereal, from fantasy to form and from life to myth. Glenna Luschei orbits around the collective unconscious like a Jungian astronaut. Her interior radar big enough to find meaning in both the great moments and the small nuances of her life. This is the blessing of the mature poet – one who has lived hundreds of lives and can bring this diversity of experience to us as a numinous pool of images to soak in.
Here are a few tastes from her banquet table. In Road to California she says: “My dream set anchor in your arms. / I waterski / behind the moon / skim the Missouri where I waded / as a child.” And in The Feldspar Mine: “When we were married / my husband said to me, / "You're a natural resource / I want to share the wealth."/ He gave me second best - / I squandered myself.” And finally in Bare Root Seasons: “Beneath white sycamores / I reason / if I find no soil / if my shoulders hurt/ then my heart must wait."
I hope to read Glenna Luschei's work as it grows thirty years from now, for as life continues to invest itself in this incubator for myth, compassion and dreams the images she will create on page will only fly higher and reach all of us more deeply.
About the author:
Charles P. Ries lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His poetry, reviews and short stories have appeared in over 60 print and electronic publications. In 2003 his work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2003 by Anthology, and he took top honors in both the 30th Annual Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest and the 2nd Annual Milwaukee.Com Poetry Contest. He had just completed work on a novel based on memory titled, The Fathers We Find: The Making of A Humble Pleasant Boy. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.bookthatpoet.com/poets/rieschar.html as well as www.pidjin.com/charles_ries.htm
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