shelter in place
the days when I feel
like an astronaut
(from Tug of a Black Hole, Deborah P Kolodji)
Deborah P. Kolodji’s new chapbook Tug of a Black Hole (© 2021, Title IX Press), is a chronicle of the author’s journey through the Covid 19 global pandemic. There are numerous other Covid 19 inspired poetry books being published, or coming out this year, but none that I’ve read, so far, contain the intimate and powerful verse Kolodji, a master haikuist, has crafted in the last 14 months.
Tug of a Black Hole contains 20 scifiku, a form similar to haiku, but with science fiction as the theme, instead of nature. I would argue that most of these are still haiku, since many of the poems contain nature references, and space, while not considered a part of Mother Nature, is a part of nature. The 20 poems are composed in a tight and swiftly read sequence, with references to isolation, illness, and the frustration engendered from the feeling of not going anywhere, which are some of the obstacles many people encountered during the pandemic.
The best thing about this, to me, as a poet, and lover of poetry, is that Kolodji takes these awkward muses, and employs them to her advantage. Each scifiku is crafted to perfection, with amazing visuals, which makes it easy to envision oneself as a passenger, on planet Earth, traveling the solar system. Tug of a Black Hole is both nostalgic and melancholy, as the farther the reader, as passenger, travels away from the center of ther origins, and themselves:
in a spaceship window
things we can’t leave
ten years in space
the dish garden
in my cabin
In the spaces between the scifiku, there’s much to ponder. Everyone will get something out of this little gem of an e-chapbook, but the wonder, and the inviting nature of Kolodji’s poems make this a book to go back to, if for no other reason than it’s excellent poetry.
Tug of a Black Hole, Deborah P Kolodji, © 2021 Title IX Press, Free to download, 16 pages
© 2021 marie c lecrivain