Language as a means to transcend the quotidian and to explore the senses
What actually happens within the revolution of the clock's hands? In The Writing of an Hour the poet considers the effort and the deliberateness that brings her to her desk each day. Despite domestic and day job demands and widespread lockdown, Coultas forges connections to the sublime and wonders what it means to be from the Americas. These poems verge on the surreal, transform the quotidian, and respond anew to the marvelous. The Writing of an Hour takes the reader on a journey in four sections; from a bedroom to an improvised desk over the North Sea, where she attempts to create an artwork inside an airplane cabin flying over Greenland's rivers of ice.
The Mending Hour
I tied one on, I mean I took my grandmother's apron, its strings and glittery rickrack and I wore it on the streets of the East Village. The apron is a cloak of superpowers, a psychic umbrella I paraded past Emma Goldman's E. 10th St. address, and rang her doorbell for a sip of water. My domestic armor is made of gingham though a woman is still considered an unelectable candidate.
SECTION I. The Writing of an Hour • SECTION II. A Channel of Soft Earth • Houses 23 • Night Shades I & II & III 24 • Notes for a Tea 26 • Momentarily 27 • Cloud Break Sonnet 28 • Wishes 29 • The Coils 30 • Unwritten 31 • Soft Earth Makings 33 • Poppies 35 • Catch a Wolf 36 • Servetta Muta 38 • Mercy 39 • Plague Mask 40 • I have Forgotten What Others See 41 • Arcades of Midtown 43 • Knot 44 • Certainly This is What I Want 45 • SECTION III. Journal of Places • Journal of Places 47 • Playa De Los Muertos 59 • SECTION IV. Inside the Cabin • Cave 65 • Bald Eagles 66 • Log Cabins 67 • Drawing 68 • Sex 69 • Riding in a New Car 70 • Noise 71 • Western Landscapes 72 • Flying Over Snow 73 • A Forest of Berlin 74 • Inside the Cabin 76
"These beautifully crafted pieces observe how time unlocks registers of the soul: 'why are we here if not to be makers.' Coultas quilts across mind/land/scapes with corporeal delicacy. To embody an hour as a glossary for perception, is to relish where today's sentence can take us."~Edwin Torres, author of Quanundrum (i will be your many angled thing)
"In Brenda Coultas's beautifully lived and living poems, time and space transform each other. A mother may be found within the shape of a tree or as an underlying music, and a house can feel like a labyrinth laced with invisible narrative threads. Within the domestic, familial, and global geographies of these poems lies a recognition of the larger writing we live in, beyond the lifework of the human: 'I know the world is a page turner, a paper globe, and I know that the birds are the great writers of the sky.'"~Elizabeth Willis, author of Alive: New and Selected Poems