|Dimensions||7 x 5 in|
The poems in Softcover capture the fleeting human experience in the clear-eyed and direct language of an honest and crucial friend. Monica Fambrough carefully arrays essential objects (keys, pills, husbands, washing machines) and essential feelings (self-consciousness, confidence, love) in hope that they won’t be lost. This book is forthright, sidelong, and inevitably feminist. It invites you to get comfortable then turns on a dime. The world we recognize is still a wonder, and the words we know are enough. Time washes through and around you, but Softcover is a distillation. A still-life of life itself.
This world needs the poems of Softcover, poems from actual life, of actual life, of a person who with directness and humor will tell you an honest if not truthful thing, something that “is clear and useful and does not exist,” poems that are a life that is devoted to when the world “becomes a fact,” in mourning and love, in care and time, this world of halfways, mislabeled newborns, wet backpacks, disintegration under scrutiny, a world that clamors to distract you from your wagelessness, from “the finite quality / of almost everything / that matters,” this world that will not “clap / for the poets on the plane,” but that will, despite itself, “harden / into meaning.” The world of this book is the world and also what that world needs, which “is not soup,” “not warm or thick or comforting.” You tripped and fell over and injured yourself. You don’t want anyone’s help getting up. For now, you just want to be. You want to be Monica Fambrough. – Paul Killebrew