>>From The Wilds, week 18; review by Terry Abrahams
Bodies are difficult. Bodies of work often more so. Phoebe Wang’s debut collection of poetry follows several bodies—her own, her family members’, plants, animals, rivers, lakes, buildings—and asks them all a pertinent question: what does it mean to be admitted? Welcomed? Allowed space within spaces with parameters to breach? There may never be a complete answer to this, but Wang seems to think it pertinent that we keep asking these questions, and I’d have to agree.
An important part of being anywhere at all lies in the fact that you cannot possibly be anywhere else. But this is only true in terms of the physical. The mind wanders, the heart strays, whatever turn of phrase you like—regardless, the point is that it is an intensely human desire to be in two or more places at once. Even (and often) in small moments, we are incredibly aware of how large everything is, how we diminish in comparison. ‘PSA’ starts with:
It’s hard to imagine the world could be
so far gone when the neighbours are doing their best
to keep their Highland terrier from ruining someone’s
freshly painted exterior.
And carries readers through a day of details, all normal parts of checking the news, grocery shopping, etc., but with them comes the quiet realization that you are so small in this, and you often feel much smaller in comparison to everything you might encounter.