David Robert Books
76 pages
$18 paperback

ISBN: 978-1-62549-011-7

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The vibrant, humorous and metaphorically cerebral poems provided in this collection create a mystery for the that is not totally resolved in consciousness but lingers on the edge of consciousness where the subconscious mind takes hold of resolution.

Divided into three parts:  The Backyard Bride, the Body's Bride and the Oldest Bride, each part delivers a metaphoric concept not yet consummated, an overarching thought that is a virgin bride, if you will. 

The book begins with a poem, "Nuptial," about an old pear tree, that year after year blooms in frothy white. The collection ends with a cemetery scene where an "invisible" first-person narrator, bridelike, stands by two graves.  

Perhaps one of the strongest images provided in this delectable collection of verse comes from the poem "The Beauty of Xioahe." Xioahe is a tomb complex in western China that has 30 well-preserved mummies.  In this poem persons visit and stare on a mummy (possibly female) that has survived time.
  Where does your beauty reside? In
your long eyelashes? your thin nose?
Is your cascading auburn hair
more now than a single grace note?

Nonetheless, we finger our chin-
straps, give the slip to body's bride.

In the second part of the book, "The Body's Bride," many humorous poems detail how to write poetry. It might not seem clear, at first, how poems about poetry fit into a collection about brides and mummies. But, think of it,  poems are like mummies, preserved brides, they survive over time. Each poem invites the reader to engage with it in a type of nuptial relationship, like the old pear tree mentioned at the beginning of the book, poems bloom again and again.

It might be said, then, that this collection not only alludes to the human body's bride, but also to the body of bride poems.

Reviewed by Mary Ann Sullivan
    May 2013