Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OC Weekly Blogger Praises Collier Nogues

In the OC Bookly section of the OC Weekly blog, there's a post titled Poems to an Imaginary Friend: On Collier Nogues and David Hernandez. In the post, the writer praises Four Way Books author, Collier Nogues and her writing style in On The Other Side, Blue.

"So it's nice when poetry comes to you, or at least to me, at work, with a celebrated poet sitting right there in a teachers staff meeting or walking the arborial showplace that is the UC Irvinecampus, or observed cheerfully meeting students for office hours at a table in the terrarium-like commons, with its pleasant din of intellectual labor.

One such poet is Collier Nogues. Here she is, smiling. It's a lovely, generous smile perhaps because Nogues has a lot to be happy about, and yet unhappy, too. Happy because her collection, On the Other Sid​e, Blue is a remarkable book and because she is so blue, by which we mean so thoughtfully, carefully, whimsically and syntactically immersed in the color and apprehension and purposeful noticing of experience. The work here is whatever the opposite of introspective is, perhaps outrospective? Which is to say that the place of the line in her short, intense poems is a place to linger, to go back to after reading the poem the first time. In poems recalling, summoning her dead mother to considering broken and tender love, it is in the short line arranged nearly as epigram, as caption of scenes, with the killer line:

"Once a plane goes down, the cause is something else, No matter how rough the flight was"
"Nothing is a warning sign because there is nothing coming requiring
Short, fragmented story-poems with dialog and scene, rendered so economically as to suggest dictionary word usage examples, here about lovers and the vulnerability and embarrassment of love, family genealogy,episodes of memory reconsidered. One of the shortest and most powerful finds Nogues interrupting herself, knowing something so immediate that saying it is impossibly both useless and necessary, just to get through:

"Widow ---
Echo ---
There is no proper name
For the daughter left without a mother."

To read more of the post, click here. Visit Four Way Books online to learn more about Nogues and get a copy of On The Other Side, Blue.