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Charlene Fix--in her poems' animal subjects--finds lessons for humanity, though her poems are light, delightful, effervescent, quick-on-their-feet, fleet-footed, with a wit and wonder worthy of Marianne Moore, yet more pendulous (like the dewlaps of a dog) or dew on a spider's web, unfixed and as fleeting as a cicada husk on a flower petal. Fix's humor is earthy, wise, and full of music, the "Music of Voles," for example, that is "in the cremains of owl's fiery furnace, yet singing. So much looking, so much care, that to inhabit Fix's world is to feel gravity of world always--the tragedy, the immensity, beauty, but to do so--most often, locally, on the dining room table, to see the power of one's "own oats," recognizing father and step-son and son and daughters and dog, and that horse over there, that lamb in the barn at the fair, it's humanness, as noted by a sister. One might say these show family values uncorrupted by the conservative abuse of that term--family values as expressed by a seen-it-all country doctor, or farm vet, or a lighter-lined, slightly quieter, Whitman. In Fix, then, we have a poet with a cinematographer's eye--an artist who lights, colors, frames and records the visual with lyrical chains of words in place of celluloid images. As with the best cinematographers, her lenses are well ground and polished; her gaze attentive, careful, and intimate; and she sees more than what is visible. In this gentle and humorous volume, Fix goes beyond her animal subjects as representative to each creature's self and tells their inherent stories. Too often with literature the animal hat is donned in service to the human beneath it, but here in these humble, generous lines even the ghost of a flea reminds us "Surprise Surprise The flea is thee."
-Joshua Butts, author of New the Lost Coast; Lesley Jenike, author of Holy Island; and Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis, author of The Rub.