Post Pardon (ISBN 978-0-9830435-2-2) by Arisa White. A 29-page, saddle-stitched chapbook available for immediate purchase at www.mouthfeelpress.com. Retail price: $7.
In Post Pardon, White explores the post partum experience in state of poetic language that author Dara Wier refers to as “fierceless and tender” in order to explore “what is not here and here all the same.” The child in White’s collection is a mythical child and a child that “…is in me grows like nothing in my garden.” This child has a “…face a remix of all those dead faces I know. / I put flowers on his pillow and spend the night in prayer.” Despite this love and this child who exists and does not, the persona cannot “…offer him my presence” and yet she cannot escape his presence:
He reminds me of my function.
My breast : milk
My heart: pump
My body warms. It is blue
and moans under the secret of covers.
Wakes, goes, does all kinds of verbs.
Yes, I’m his mother but what is my location?
What makes this collection of poetry so stunning is White’s arrangement of syntax that evokes a state of emergency mirroring the past and present anxieties of living in a world that is in a constant flux of change and paradoxes. The state of post-partum then becomes any state of existences with no clear borders and with no easy context to pin down.
PRAISE FOR “Post Pardon”:
A stunning collection of poems that arranges and deranges the post-partum experience. White’s syntax creates a remarkable fluidity that results in an undeniable tonal achievement of the collection as a whole. The poems in this sequence are brilliant and harrowing. Post Pardon is a breathtaking collection that introduces Arisa White as a major new talent. — Cate Marvin
Post Pardon explores what is not here and here all the same. Arisa White is a fierceless and tender poet who always brings into view what is strange, unusual and critical for our survival. Her poems consider what it requires to meditate and meet what is unknown unflinching. — Dara Wier
A mythical child “hiding the place that will never blossom for Eve’s hunger” is embodied in these poems of “inherited sorrow.” Here “you cannot make edges meet in its original / sin” and the child may or may not be more than a pregnant perception that the poet takes up in language so intense that “the tongue has a mind of its own.” Arisa White evokes an “emergency” state of being that speaks of and to any number of existences while never being confined to any easy context.— Rebecca Seiferle