by Henry Israeli
paper, 60 pages, $14.95
All in this book: our lives from hour to hour, the memories that define us, redemption.... But in the end the question still remains: "Who will come to bury / he who comes to bury me?" Powerful, crystal clear, intimate and world building, this book is testimony and proof that the miracle of our lives will continue. "New Messiahs" is the right title.
In Henry Israeli's debut book, we are still on the infamous train of the twentieth century, there's no getting off, and we're all responsible and helpless. Thankfully, however, these poems are noble memories of transformations; they allow that we are made of "little bones that contemplation holds together." How the spirit carries the wounded body around in here! You can feel the wind rage, feel yourself tested.
Israeli is visceral and brilliant, intransigent in his doubts. His poems lead deeper into the wilderness—toward the human, the ambivalent, the paradox Dorothy Day called "a hard and dreadful love."