In Ash, Gloria Mindock writes a gritty, beautifully haunting collection of poetry. Ash is what remains behind after destruction, ruin, death, and burning. Similarly, the poems in this collection are what will remain. Fight the shadows and wade through the darkness on a path paved by Mindock's vivid imagery, stark language, and dynamic voice, all of which make for a most memorable experience. Now more than ever, we need these poems. With the utmost economy of words, skillful syntax, and emotional connections, each poem reverberates into the depths of your consciousness. Dark, intense, and wholly unique, Ash, by Gloria Mindock is what you've been waiting for- a collection of poetry that consumes and smolders. Are you ready?
-Renuka Raghavan, author of Out of the Blue and The Face I Desire
In Gloria Mindock’s powerful new book, the flames of love die out and the ashes linger until they dissolve into air. The body is hostage, in charred relics of failed intimacies—The burnt-out ends of smoky days (T.S. Eliot). There’s beauty in the truth of Mindock’s words and images: Things got smokier, battling the embers with//false waters. And there’s hope: Not everyone believes in destruction.// All the heart wants is to beat. Above all, these poems radiate feeling, compassionately aware, attuned to a world of broken love that is burned beyond recognition, the ashes drifting and settling: how much sorrow can this heart take?// There is never an answer. Ash sears and sings.
Dzvinia Orlowsky, author of Bad Harvest
Gloria Mindock is a poet with singular vision: in Ash, a human heart is rolled out, then baked, then thrown to the birds; broken crucifixes are shoved into junk drawers and gather dust; a spurned/murdered woman turns into a beautiful plant that gives her ex-lover a rash. With mordant, Pinter-esque wit, Mindock explores just how far love, and even human decency, can unravel—to the point of arson, to the point of war.
Ash begin with a series of poems about lethal house fires that may be literal or metaphorical (“my skin was burned by your compulsion to be famous”), then expands to pinpoint the similar essence of human cruelty that enables soldiers to kill. As the narrator of “Doomed by the Numbers” explains: “the fact is people will still go on brutally/killing each other./Who will take my place and write about it?”
Ash concludes with an engaging, Rabelaisian roundelay of voices—mini-plays, summed up in just two stanzas, about complicated relationships between two people.
Once again, with Ash, Mindock proves herself to be unafraid of the dark. She is truly a leading, contemporary master of the edgy.
--Karen Friedland, author of Places That Are Gone and Tales from the Teacup Palace.
Passionate and observant, Gloria Mindock is a tragic poet. Her books are wounds revisited. She knows that nothing, never heals.
“With a rolling pin in my hand, I roll your heart out flat… stop it from beating. The redness of blood turns to wax, sticky while wet.” (Baked)
She senses the pain of the world in her being.
“The void looms deep, scorched like the desert blowing aimlessly.” (Exit)
As her latest book Ash attests without doubt, Gloria is both a warrior and a martyr. Her words are swords that slowly transform into tears.
Her anger at life’s injustice is mighty, but mighty is her generosity and her openness towards repair, harmony and universal peace. A must-read Ash conducts the reader through thorny labyrinths of pain and despair, allowing now and then a glimpse of ultimate resolve and liberation in verses of a rare beauty:
“…but gravity is about to free me into space… People will look at me day and night and ask, “what is it?” There is no control over what happens. The cathedral is high and my freckles fell on the floor as I left. Paleness now, that no one sees, but in the universe, I will be a prism.” (Gravity)
“…A hunger surrounds us, dust gathers, and is wiped off, space evading all this as songs of the wind come through the window and we all hum.” (Room)
--Flavia Cosma, author of In the Arms of the Father, Val-David, QC