Sara Crawford: Coiled and Swallowed

Though Coiled and Swallowed by Sara Crawford begins with a poem anxious and questioning in “Spinning,” readers will find this collection of poetry by Sara Crawford to be honest and even light-hearted, a contrast represented dutifully by the second poem in the book, “Ode to Carpet.” As the book progresses we begin to see the personal and personable experiences whether in regards to love or excesses, adorations or musings; these poems seem to be questions and answers within themselves. In poems like “Flask” or “Green,” readers experience the revelry of youth, access to emotions and feelings as well as the vices of life. Consider the poem “Flask:” “Wednesday was raspberry rum”…”Tuesday was hard cider”…”Wednesday was screwdrivers”…”Thursday was whiskey”…Friday was margaritas”…”Saturday was shots of jagermeister”…”Todays is Sunday. / I’m drinking black coffee, / waiting for you to come out of the bathroom / of this freezing all-night diner. / I wait… / and wait… / and wait… / for you. / But I don’t think you’re coming out this time. / I don’t think you’re coming back . / And my flask is empty.” “Green” exhibits a similar quality, ” The traffic light tells me to move forward / and I’m still choking on this herbal haze / trying to forget the shade your eyes turned / when you saw her. / I stumble out of the car onto tiny blades of grass, / the pine trees look so vibrant in contrast with the sky. / Grasshoppers dance around me and I almost forget / the picture of your lips on hers. ” The beauty of these works, though seemingly heavy, are contrasted in the body of work by poems that reveal the strength of character. Poems like “Music” and “Music Theory” display the writers affinity with audible arts, singing and music making, by drawing on the inspirations of her experience. “Music Theory,” for example, weaves personal experience with music and musicians to a point of seemingly ekphrastic type writing that lauds or reacts to the inspiration as reacts or addresses the point at hand. Of course there are totally light-hearted poems, as “For Frank” which is actually as cute as the kitten it is written for and poems representing absent beauty like “Sunrise.” Personal faves of mine were “The Novelist” about the determination of a writer, that I found quite honorable, and “Dreaming,” a poem endearing to the questions of life and living. All in all, Coiled in Swallowed is a collection of poetry open to all readers, a snapshot of life through the eyes of one Atlanta, Georgia singer/songwriter/playwright/poet (not in that particular order), a vital and well-founded beginning to a promising and proactive vision. 39 pages. $10.

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