The title poem shows her original, accreted lines of narrative and lyric force. She shifts from snapshots that appear all too mortal—a man collapsing, for example. She focuses on fleeting moments, not a new theme in poetry—tempus fugit. But her voice is completely modern. After reciting a catalogue of life that will die, she declares, “I’m not endorsing it.” Chains here are not only mortality, but also the links from one moment to the next—what continues.
Space, in ChainsThings that are beautiful, and die. Things that fall asleep in the afternoon, in
sun. Things that laugh, then cover their mouths, ashamed of their teeth. A
strong man pouring coffee into a cup. His hands shake, it spills. His wife falls
to her knees when the telephone rings. Hello? Goddammit, hello?
Where is their child?
Hamster, tulips, love, gigantic squid. To live. I'm not endorsing it.
Any single, transcriptional event. The chromosomes of the roses. Flagella,
cilia, all the filaments of touching, of feeling, of running your little hand
hopelessly along the bricks.
Sky, stamped into flesh, bending over the sink to drink the tour de force of
It's all space, in chains—the chaos of birdsong after a rainstorm, the steam
rising off the asphalt, a small boy in boots opening the back door, stepping
out, and someone calling to him from the kitchen,
Sweetie, don't be gone too long.
From the book: Space, in Chains by Laura Kasischke, reprinted from the Copper Canyon “Share” site https://www.coppercanyonpress.org/pages/browse/book.asp?bg=%7B611CDCE2-12CA-4B02-8BB4-6D53A73B73D2%7D Poetry Foundation Link http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/laura-kasischke University of Michigan link http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/grad/mfa/mfaFacDetail.asp?ID=964
Laura Kasischke teaches at the University of Michigan. Besides Space, in Chains, she has published 7 books of poetry: Lilies Without (Ausable Press, 2007); Gardening in the Dark (Ausable Press, 2004); Dance and Disappear (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); What It Wasn't (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2001); Fire & Flower (Alice James Books, 1999); Housekeeping in a Dream (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1995); Wild Brides (New York University Press, 1991). Her poetry has been published in Harper's, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, and Pushcart anthologies.
She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers (NYU Press), Beatrice Hawley Award, Juniper Award (Univ. of Massachusetts Press), Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award (Poetry Society of America). She has also published 8 novels, including The Raising (Harpers, 2011); In a Perfect World (novel, Harpers, 2009); Be Mine (Harcourt, 2007); Boy Heaven(novel for young adults, HarperCollins, 2006); The Life Before Her Eyes (Harcourt, 2002); White Bird in a Blizzard (Hyperion, 1998); and Suspicious River (Houghton Mifflin, 1996).ischke's most recent collection of poems, Lilies Without, was published in 2007 by Ausable Press. She teaches at the University of Michigan. Laura Kasischke's most recent collection of poems, Lilies Without, was published in 2007 by Ausable Press. She teaches at the University of Michigan. Laura Kasischke's most recent collection of poems, Lilies Without, was published in 2007 by Ausable Press. She teaches at the University of Michigan.