Rain Mirror: New Poems
Author: Michael McClure
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation (1999)
"Rain Mirror," writes poet Michael McClure, "is my most bare and forthright book. It contains two long poems, 'Crisis Blossom' and 'Haiku Edge' which are quite disparate from one another." Yet brought under a single cover, the poems compliment each other as do light and dark, the Apollonian and the Dionysian, Yin and Yang. "Haiku Edge" is a serial poem of linked haikus in the American idiom. Often humorous, sometimes harsh, always elegant, they catch moments in the landscape of Oakland's East Bay Hills where McClure now lives. "Crisis Blossom" in contrast is a long poem in three parts ("Graftings", "After the Solstice", and "After Meltdown") that record the poet's months' long shock and recovery after a near-fatal airplane accident. It is, in McClure's words, "my state of psyche, capillaries, muscles, fears, boldnesses, and hungers, down where they exist without management". With Rain Mirror, the poet moves in two directions, inward and outward, to arrive at the balance point between the self and nonself: "There's Me / and no me / on the other side / I'm here under hand / And There / where thoughts glide."