Another hot one from Anstruther Press: Allison LaSorda’s Playdate speaks with a quaint voice, and in a manner of reverie, of both simplistic moments as well as momentous ideals.
And true to the text’s name, LaSorda douses memories throughout in a blanket of playfulness, some crocheted form of comedic aloof-itude. “If you were still mine, / my sweet jubilee, I’d bother / to come up with sap to spew.” I love this passage. The lines kinda crept up on me. Like an intertextual double-take, my eyes stumbled in a moment of romanticized and self-involved reading — O, were this a love poem, that I could satisfy my thirst for some projected sensuous experience. These are the type of lines that hope to be read aloud and yet, contrarily, lose meaning when heard audibly. Presentation is deceiving; articulation can be moreso.
Additionally, LaSorda’s does a great job at presenting commonplace images with reference to traditionally-ingrained aesthetics, such as those found in the dusky humanities seminar rooms of yesteryear. “Everything the sun touched / turned rancid … On a guided tour, / I learned that when the sun shines / on leather wallpaper, it is ruined / slowly over time, as everything is. / So you see, even in the lap / of Baroque luxury / you cannot escape daylight.”
This is serious poetry for the semi-sarcastic and outwardly analytical. LaSorda succeeds in saying exactly what she wants about herself without falling into self-exploratory quicksand. Yes, Playdate belongs to a world of personal poetics, but still there is a healthy amount of finger-shakes and eye-rolls scattered throughout. (Jeff Low)