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Honest and self-aware, Washita evokes some of the ...
Honest and self-aware, Washita evokes some of the most inexpressible experiences a human being can undergo: the loss of a parent, the breakdown of a body, the perversion of nature, the acquiring of wisdom. In "Hard-Rock," a boy begins to understand that his father will die: "His lungs created elaborate cathedrals from quartz dust, / a crystal symphony playing Mahler under water." In "Submission," a speaker struggles with losing his sight, capable only of expressing himself through metaphor. But amid this darkness sparks an awareness of the artistry of the world: "Vete a la mierda, hijo de puta! / Hate is beautiful in Spanish."
As might be expected from a seventy-five-year-old poet, Washita is reflective in tone, exploring all facets of the poet's own life as well as those others his has touched. Introducing a new style employing medium-length, end-stopped lines, terse diction and concrete imagery, Washita has a solidity and mastery that marks it as a new highlight in Lane's distinguished career.