"Chussled". It's a lovely word.
As in, , "The leaves of the lupins chussled like the turning pages of a glossy magazine."
Descriptions are precise, unexpectedly shining light on small details, illuminating the reality. The reality is mundane and unforgiving, but Moore portrays her characters with sympathetic understanding.
Slaney is a man helplessly caught in his own stupidity. He got caught trying to smuggle marijuana into Newfoundland. Very little in the book actually took place in Newfoundland, but fog and boats still got squeezed in there. He gets out of jail in 4 years, and promptly embarks on renewed plans to smuggle in an even bigger haul of weed. Slaney never really seems to get that he is his own architect of folly. He was caught once, and swore they -- the system -- wouldn't break him. "He would not betray the innermost thing. He didn’t know exactly what the innermost thing was, except it hadn’t been touched in the four years of incarceration. Come and get me. They couldn’t get him. It fluttered in and out of view, the innermost thing, consequential and delicate." He is determined not to get caught again, but simultaneously believes getting caught again is inevitable.
Lisa Moore's writing is such a pleasure to read. She has an easy and friendly relationship with words. They get along well.
The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart"
”Introduction To Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.”