Nominated for the National Book Award
“World of Made and Unmade is a deep blue yarn of very fine thread. We know much of poetry ever was and ever shall be elegiac. Jane Mead’s poem could be neither more literal nor nearer the verge of appearing a little too perfect for this world. As the laundry room floods and the grape harvest gets done; as Michoacan waits for another time, her beautiful, practical mother is dying. Ashes are scattered in the pecan groves of her own Rincon, her own corner of the world, and the poet, in elementary script, draws a sustaining record of the only feeling worth the struggle, and she cannot, will not, does not fuck it up.”
“In love and in dying, Zeno’s paradox proves to be neither paradoxical nor absurd. Rather, it vivifies each point of time into a sward-point, a needle point, a keen glint on a hillside, piercing eternity. In Jane Mead’s World of Made and Unmade, we find distances we’d never expected in the gilded lapse of time. And Mead sets these distances into motion, into a cinema of true feeling and insuperable dignity. Life is unassailable in death, and Jane Mead proves it so.”
In animal darkness, before
the first day of harvest,
I walk up the vineyard’s main avenue—-
thumbnail moon, and the floodlight
from the big barn. Clanks and shouts.
The squat stone structures of the homestead
vanish, its layers of ghosts flicker
and go out. The black dog Leo follows me—-
almost invisible when I look back:
he floats,–a low-lying, uncomplaining
black cloud. Day by day, I hum—-
to the dog and the moon and the vineyard,
I guess,–let me see you more clearly.
Love is a ticket, whatever love is.
And to where I could not say.