Friday, March 20, 2009

"Her Delicate Shoe" Jane Crown

Her Delicate Shoe
Jane Crown
Polymer Grove Press
Chapbook Review by David McLean
to order, visit:

This excellent new chapbook by Jane Crown, editor of Heavy Bear magazine and host and proprietor of Jane Crown's Internet radio show, is a real tour de force in verbal pyrotechnics and demonstrates that Janey has a quiet and assured voice capable of engaging the reader in order to drag her into the Crown world and display a poetical sensibility that is one of the most promising in the early years of what will probably be a pretty fucked up millennium, if it lasts that long.

These are poems made

… only of promises
and rosewater, wishes for happiness
and a granting of living lips
(from Delicacy)

They discuss love, aging, sensuality, the Tao, the southern states of the USA, and nostalgia and yearning. They often attain heights of lyricism that never lose their sure footing in humor and self-awareness, even a self-conscious reflexive touch that makes the poems sometimes meta-poems with their and the writer's selves as subject matter:

believe or not, it is the poem that brings movement
across salted floors
(from Movement)

One of the best is introduced by a Lao Tzu quote and goes on to

Chopping wood seems very hard now, impossibly mind breaking
it gives no pause for diligence, it simply moves heavy

To split something in halves possible, spendthrift
'Tis a broader thought to use self as a whole

A grand endeavor, no doubt, thinking and still
I keep my eye to yours and this aged quiet

It keeps me on the path
lest I forget there is one, minus machine and hand

This I can embrace without even axe or arm
(from The Uncarved Block)

The poems offer an exceedingly unique and individual take on life and teach us, as poems should, to step back on and reflect on what it is to be. Not what it is to be a human or a woman or an American, but what it is to be there in the world in general, even if we happen to be all of these subsidiary things.

Finally, some excellent advice:

Travel leads to disembarking, so
keep your valuables with you
and never watch over your left shoulder
(from The Birds)

Do buy this book, I can guarantee you some breathlessly exciting and beautiful poetry. And copies are available from Jane herself at