Landscape with Missing River (Paperback)
The book traces the late life, addiction, and death of the speaker's father, a Los Alamos scientist, living along the banks the Animas River in rural northern New Mexico. The tone is elegiac, the poems rooted in the particularity of a place. Repeating themes include addiction, loss, the ghosts and voices that haunt, agitate, and sometimes, console us.
"Joni Wallace's elegiac Landscape with Missing River is as sonically rich as it is lyrically alert. Insects 'scrape and chew' in the 'mandible grass.' 'Grasshoppers rasp a too- bright opus.' A wildfire smolders into 'notes of a fugue.' Toads 'sound out a mercy chorus.' Landscapes shimmer with details chiseled to the essence of mourning: 'Sleet comes, a shroud in verglas, ice / slivers falling // on fences, the clothesline. You are dead.' Grief for the dying father, who in one haunting poem 'sees the end of seeing, ' glosses these spare poems with grace. This exquisite collection is utterly mesmerizing."--Cynthia Hogue