By Lisa Chavez
West End Press, Paperback, 9780931122927, 61pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 1999
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Poetry. Taking their starting point from the Alaska landscape, like their author, these surprisingly intimate poems speak in the voices of murderous mothers, young prostitutes, grieving widows, desirous poets: women who confront life open-eyed and articulate. The poems dwell in the extremes; toughness and innocence, victim and victimizer, seawater and nettles. Chavez's poems are piercing and sharp as a northern winter, and always they are only a word away from devastation. (-Linda Hogan) When I was a girl/I walked along the tracks/away from this town/full of dust and rusting/hulls of cars./I thought I'd follow/those trains someday. Instead,/I let you lay me down/in your daddy's old pick-up/truck. (from Leave the Window Open at Night) Chavez's poems walk the edge between following those trains and the instead available to the women in her community.