“Why must humans learn / by watching bodies in space, by forcing a fall, by letting worms digest what bedrock resists?” asks Lori Anderson Moseman in her stunning new collection, TEMPORARY BUNK. One answer she offers is the “temporary bunk” of these marvelously crafted poems, which give us a safe place to lie down and reflect without any absurdity or nonsense. The body, she insists, is transitory, even malleable (“I wish I’d been the pallet / Lazarus picked up when he walked”)—itself a temporary bunk in which the deeper self finds fleeting refuge Amon the travails of work, relationship, and the physical and emotional floods that reshape the landscape we call our lives.
These poems tongue the tough spunk of a well-spanked phrase. Anderson Moseman's taut images freely range between beignets, endorphins, linseed oil, and the "terrestrial legs" that grow and then retract in the fetus of a dolphin, suggesting that our own gestation of living mirrors similar periods of expansion and contraction. The bunk in which these poems recline is poignant, emotionally honest and, well, no "bunk" at all--language as exploration and ritual, or as she concludes her poem, "Belay" "Word all vowel all howl." —George Kalamaras