Once in a blue moon, a love like this comes along
Finalist for Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, given by The Publishing Triangle, 2022
This collection of love poems draws us into the sacred liminal space that surrounds death. With her beloved gravely ill, poet and activist Minnie Bruce Pratt turns to daily walks and writing to find a way to go on in a world where injustice brings so much loss and death. Each poem is a pocket lens "to swivel out and magnify" the beauty in "the little glints, insignificant" that catch her eye: "The first flowers, smaller than this s." She also chronicles the quiet rooms of "pain and the body's memory," bringing the reader carefully into moments that will be familiar to anyone who has suffered similar loss. Even as she asks, "What's the use of poetry? Not one word comes back to talk me out of pain," the book delivers a vision of love that is boldly political and laced with a tumultuous hope that promises: "Revolution is bigger than both of us, revolution is a science that infers the future presence of us." This lucid poetry is a testimony to the radical act of being present and offers this balm: that the generative power of love continues after death.
Someone sang, Oh death! Oh death! Won't you
pass me over for another day? Someone said, I
dreamed of you last night. I dreamed you
were telling me your whole life story.
Whole. Whorled. Welkin, winkle, wrinkle.
The loop of time holds us all together.
The pile of laundry on the bed. You
folding socks one inside the other. We
have had this day, and now this night.
The clothes are put away, and from the bed we see
the moon folding light into darkness, not death.
hourglass • the moment before someone says a word • no time to be afraid • your wavelength, my wave • do not seek to remain • now cast your shadow on my hand • flakes, flesh, flash
"Every leaf, flower, snowflake, butterfly in Magnified is impeccably coated and coded with existential time, anti-capitalist time. Magnified is a profoundly intimate record of personal sorrow as well as 'poetry to action'—in its resistance against empire's economic and military destruction."~Don Mee Choi, author of DMZ Colony
"The poems in Magnified model a fearless relation with lost beloveds that is gorgeous, queer and fiercely alive. Minnie Bruce Pratt, who always writes verse with palpating radical breath, here ignites it with a vision for revolutionary afterlife."~Rachel Levitsky, author of The Story of My Accident Is Ours
"'Revolution is bigger than both of us, revolution is a science that infers the future presence of us,' writes Pratt. Magnified is a history of the beloved's last days, and in crafting that history Pratt has crafted posterity, sending revolutionary love into the future that we may learn from it."~Kerri Webster, Visiting Assistant Professor, Boise State University
"In this elegiac and essential book, Minnie Bruce Pratt focuses a Dickinsonian extreme attention on the natural world, its changes magnified by an approaching death, with the human exchanges essential to her activism as much in focus as a walnut shell, a poplar leaf, the breath of the beloved."~Marilyn Hacker, author of Blazons