Lovely review of Glass Factory from Ra Press publisher and friend Dave Donahue

Book Review Marilyn McCabe’s


About 9 months ago I went to the local Humane Society looking for a gray tiger cat. I went there as I was still in a very dark place from the loss of a friend the previous November. I needed something to divert the pain and to focus for the good. I found a fully grown tiger who looked like a six month old kitten. At six lbs. she was – not once – but twice rescued. She had come into the shelter from a family evicted from their home in Winooski. She was filled with worms and fleas and ticks… And yet when I met her she came to me purring and happy and maybe even hopeful for something better… something maybe even to count on.

Still, when she came back home with us she spent two weeks in hiding under a bed only coming out at night to eat and use the box… But then one night she hopped onto my bed, purring, fairly confident now that this was a good place for her. And it has been a great time since ….

This long preamble and my cat came strongly to mind when I read Marilyn McCabe’s poem INCARNATE in her great new collection THE GLASS FACTORY. In fact, this small poem about the fragility of life and the uncaring irrevocable force of nature hit me in a powerfully emotional way I still can’t quite define – although I do believe it has to do with my thoughts about a 6 lb sickly little cat who was very close to oblivion …

The whole book is filled with such strong images – LAKESHORE LIMITED and FACTORY RUIN could describe the slow sad slide of structures (and maybe even civilization) throughout our land – esp. Upstate and esp. in the Adirondacks… Drive through Bakers Mills, drive through Port Henry and Mineville and North Hudson and these poems resonate…

Read aloud CAPE MAY and ON HEARING THE CALL TO PRAYER OVER THE MARCELLUS SHALE ON EASTER MORNING – wow… they seem to sing to the ear  – they are structured so well when you listen… (also GOOGLE Vimeo AT FREEMAN’S FARM by Marilyn and listen to Marilyn’s voice in this powerful anti war film!)

The book is filled with wonderful side roads into philosophy and art and history. Speaking of side roads her poem STONE CHURCH ROAD brought to mind a back road I recently drove down in Crown Point after many years – the Wolcott Road…

a wonderfully wistful location …..Reading the poem gave me a déjà vu like aha moment…

For me, in the end, GLASS FACTORY is about the fragility of all life, whether one is standing in thoughtful contemplation upon a frozen pond in winter, or watching nature do its inevitable work using time and happenstance as its weapons, or playing out our human relationships , always fearing, as in the Glass Menagerie, that the gentleman caller will accidentally drop the small figurine, breaking off the horn of the unicorn,  making common once more something that was once quite unique…

 GLASS FACTORY is a unique book. A powerful book… A great read…. Dave

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