I bought this book when I was living in Central Pennsylvania and in my second or third year of ModPo. Julia Bloch is one of the wonderful people who is part of ModPo- the modern poetry MOOC some of us bloggers are a part of. I had paged through it a few times, but this weekend I sat down to read this cover-to-cover for the first time.
I moved to the Central Valley from 2007-2012, and now I live in Woodland Calif., which is part of the Central Valley so I am quickly getting reacquainted to triple degree summer heat and a dryness that makes you want to sip olive oil until the rains come, if they come… oh yes, and the fires; careful with the olive oil. (We are all safe and doing ok– the fires are slowly dying down for now.) Anyhow– Valley Fever captures the sentiment of the Central Valley well. If you have been in this part of the world, I think you can appreciate some of Bloch’s words– Here are few favorites:
The first two lines of “Bakersfield”
in a field of lettuce.
The last stanze of “Valley Fever”
Dust is like anger, it
can’t be rid
of and has
From “The Tight Pants of the Arts”
Meanwhile let’s overcook
the food, let’s clutter up our salads
I feel good about having read this after unpacking my library in my office, looking for a female writer to read, and rediscovering this far too apropos book of poetry. And she is so right on about the fucking DUST!
How is your reading going?