Finding poetry in pain
“I know there isn’t anything after,
I just know it,” with fervor she announced
to me shortly before she left us just her body
slumped back in her wheelchair with vacant eyes,
she would have died had she known,
a mere lump to transport and feed and wipe ...
— from “Ashes,” by Carol Moscrip
Carol Moscrip is of one of several New Mexico writers who contributed to Missing Persons, a new book about diseases of dementia, edited by Deborah Coy and Barbora Cowles and published by Albuquerque’s Beatlick Press. The poems, which dwell in the lives of the suffering and afflicted, were written by people who have been caretakers or watched the decline of a parent or loved one. Contributor John Macker described the poems in the collection as emotionally tactile. “They present a human condition that is sometimes beyond words — but we try to put words to it. Most of the poems are about memory and experience, and in all of them, somebody is changing into somebody else.”
Macker reads at the book launch for Missing Persons on Sunday, Jan. 13, and on Monday, Jan. 14, he reads from his new collection, The Blues Drink Your Dreams Away: Selected Poems, 1983-2013 (Stubborn Mule Press, 2018). Macker is joined by George Wallace, writer in residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace in New York, who reads from his new book, One Hundred Years Among the Daisies, also published last year by Stubborn Mule Press. — J.L.
The book launch and reading for Missing Persons is 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at Teatro Paraguas (3205 Calle Marie). There is no charge for admission. Books are available for $15. John Macker and George Wallace read at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Teatro Paraguas. Admission is a suggested donation of $5-$10. For more information, go to teatroparaguas.org.