Change (will do you good)
Published April 1, 2005 by:
Poetic Matrix Press
PO Box 1223, Madera, Ca 93638
In Change ( will do you good ) Gail Entrekin lays out the boundries of what's really at stake in the affairs of the heart. In these poems, with an economy of words and the clarity of a practiced poet, she takes on life's transitions and, like Mary Oliver and Sharon Olds, bravely reveals the expectations beneath the choices we all must face. Gail Entrekin does what our best poets have always done; she makes the value of our emotional journeys available and visible...and real.
Never the same river twice, and life keeps
moving on. These are the truths that Change celebrates, mourns,
puzzles over, and explores in language that is so accurately beautiful,
and so beautifully accurate, that it leaps off the page. Once again,
Gail Rudd Entrekin digs into reality and comes up with glory.
Alicia Ostriker, critic and poet, Dancing at the Devil's Party
Change (will do you good) rocks on the salt sea
of a woman's life, buoyed by Gail Rudd Entrekin's deft images and
clean lines. Children born, grown, and gone: farewell song of an
aging body; the tenderness and doubts of a marriage — everything's
awash in joy and sorrow, delivered without sentiment or apology
by a writer whose wisdom is earned and language is truly beautiful.
Molly Fisk, poet, Terrain
Using language luminous and precise, Gail Entrekin explores the
essential elements: love, sex, daughters and sons, aging, illness,
fear and fury. And it is love — of husband and children, of
friends, and her dog, and a monumental one of words — that
holds this spellbinding collection together. Pick it up. You won't
be able to put it down.
Sands Hall, novelist, Catching Heaven
Blue whales are out there somewhere,
six thousand of the hundreds of thousands
that once roamed the planet’s seas.
Now separated from each other
by thousands of miles, they moan their loneliness
four octaves below middle C, so low, so slow,
we humans cannot even hear. But on our ocean liners
and in our lighthouse kitchens, the cutlery jangles on the table,
the glass pane vibrates in its frame, and we know
something nearby is crying out in need.
Two thousand miles away, they can be heard
and answered, the loudest sound made by a living thing,
and we don’t know what it says, but only that,
speeded up ten times, what we hear is a long, blue,
unearthly note, a gurgle so deep
we slip down into our own lostness,
grateful that they are carrying for us
something bigger than we could hold.
In my town on a street of plain houses
I drive up behind two police cars
cops climbing out,
ambling across the lawn as the front door
a young girl steps out, meets them
on the steps.
I slow to pass the cars
as a young man the age of my son,
clean cut, open collar,
steps out behind her,
she speaking now to the cops,
he steps forward, his wrists
extended so that I see, with shock,
the silver handcuffs glitter in the huge hands
of the cop, taking them off his belt,
as my car eases past in the street,
the boy looks up, meets my eyes briefly,
and in that instant I receive his fear,
huge and almost overpowering,
but also his courage, his resolution
as he presents himself,
now past wishing to god
he hadn’t done last night whatever thing he did,
past the long night talking with the girl over coffee,
phone calls to her uncle for advice,
past the embarrassment
of childish tears, runny nose,
the blind interval
in the back bedroom,
her comforting body one last time.
I see, in that instant, his readiness now
to move forward into the system of strangers,
hard lights, cold hands, alien clothing,
where he will be made to suffer
whatever justice is to come.
not all-out panic like red, running down the path
with an earthquake opening up behind you
or up the beach with a tidal wave at your back
but the sound of a window breaking in another room
when you’re alone in the house
or a child so burning hot she can’t lift up
her head to tell you. Orange is
call someone and call the right someone
line your words up in the order they need
to understand, do not slip over
into the red area where no words
only small bursts of carbon dioxide
puff from your mouth, and the day may be lost
the intruder knife you where you stand
the child fall from bad to worse, go black.
Orange is a fire that needs careful tending
lest the whole forest leap up roaring. Keep
orange in a sealed Tupperware container. Keep
orange off drugs. Orange stands there telling lies,
about to bolt for the door. Study orange.
Recite it. Prepare for it. Never relax and forget
exactly where you saw orange last.