The poems of this fourth collection from Wayne Miller exist in the wake of catastrophe, thrumming with pathos and humor, pain and the beauty of living.
Post- coalesces around three primary occurrences: the birth of a child, the death of a father, and the seeming explosion of sociohistorical and political conflict and violence over the past fifteen years. Its world is one populated by rogue gunmen on shooting sprees, where the only inheritance a father has to pass on is his debt, where a car left in an airport parking lot and the coffee cup inside are more immediate presences of the dead. Young rioters leave chaos behind each evening, returning home to watch themselves on the evening news. The unzipping of snow from train tracks evokes the surgery of a family member. Lovers, drinking wine and rowing on a lake, find joy within and without a system that sees them only as consumers.
Beginnings and endings, loss and rebirth, body and spirit: in Post-, Miller processes grief, but also cuts through pain, gorgeously and heartbreakingly, to open up a way forward. Winter permeates these poems—and yet spring is always beckoning in the next.