Areas of Fog – Joseph Massey

The poems in this collection are sparse, sculpted slivers that rely on line breaks every few syllables. Lines like “Honeysuckle / scent like / an open vowel / wrung out / in the rain’s gloss- /olalia,” from the poem “Property Line” seem to maximize this form. However, the rapid pace can be too much as in: “This / insists / winter’s / bruise / in you; / a word, / love, / a wind.” For the reader, moments are slowed down. Tension builds. The result is a collection of poetry that asks to be read again. Tension is also evident in the way nature is both detailed and generalized. The most obvious is in “Without a Field Guide” which follows, “Memory / skids across / daylight’s / edges. / Moon / mistaken / for a / cloud.” Massey invites us to explore these areas of light and shadow; see a spider’s web across flower petals we cannot name.

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