Lost in the woods with a horse, a mouse, and the ghost of a dead bird, you will discover if you're meant to live
In Sarah Blake's epic poem of survival, we follow a nameless main character lost in the woods. There, they discover the world anew, negotiating their place among the trees and the rain and the animals. Something brought them to the woods that nearly killed them, and they're not sure they want to live through this experience either. But the world surprises them again and again with beauty and intrigue. They come to meet a pregnant horse, a curious mouse, and a dead bird, who is set on haunting them all. Blake examines what makes us human when removed from the human world, what identity means where it is a useless thing, and how loss shapes us. In a stunning setting and with ominous dreams, In Springtime will take you into a magical world without using any magic at all—just the strangeness of the woods. Includes a stunning art feature by Nicky Arscott.
If only the night held one dream instead of many.
In the next dream you dig up the bird.
In the next dream you dig in the same place and find a gun. You've shot someone. You weren't supposed to return to this place where you hid the gun.
You're an idiot in your dream.
In the next dream the horse returns. The horse startles you awake. But you are still asleep. Dreams are some wicked things.
In the next dream you are in a desert. That's different.
You forget what grass is. What it smells like. What the shadows of trees look like across your legs.
You laugh your head off at the sight of a cactus.
In the next dream you can see the spirit of the bird that will haunt you for weeks. Her tongue makes you think all of her words will come out garbled.
Then you remember all she does is sing.
Day 1: pg 2 • Day 2: pg 10 • Day 3:pg 27 • Day 4: pg 45
SARAH BLAKE (London, England) is an American writer living in London. She is the award-winning author of the novels Namaah and Clean Air and the poetry books Let's Not Live on Earth and Mr. West. NICKY ARSCOTT is an artist living in Llanbrynmair, Wales. She collaborates with writers from around the world and her poetry comics have been published in Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review, Wales Arts Review, Nashville Review, Berfrois, Red Ink, and MAI: A Feminist Journal.
"At this dark, late hour of our planet, there is grace in the way Sarah Blake looks through the lens of different species for a better gauge of our own human lives. In Springtime is where Blake also expands our perception of wounds, 'Injury lends a certain steadiness. Like your whole life was spent uneasy in your body.' This new book is a brilliant, bona fide page-turner."~CAConrad, author of AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration
"From the onset of Sarah Blake's moving lyric narrative of an unnamed speaker inextricably linked with three key nonhuman entities: horse, mouse, dead bird, it is clear that we embark on a numinous path more elemental than allegorical. As we inhabit the speaker's bodily and cognitive experiences through the second person 'you,' Blake transports us via a radical inter-species empathy that flows also between the living and the dead. In a time of great division, this is a poetics not of time spent 'measuring distances,' but a most tender 'act of touching."~Diana Khoi Nguyen, author of Ghost Of