Comments from James McMichael and Michael Ryan...


One kind of dust the speaker in Tracy Teel’s “Such Dust” summons is the powder a woman buys to brush over her skin when she’s been “unloved/ for a long while.”  Another dust is the one that settles after assumed solidities have dissolved.  Abandoned by her beloved, she wishes wings so that she too might fly as he had flown from her.

So she could “see what a lover sees,” she also wants to get a look again at a woman she’d known him to have longed for.  Her giving up blame fails to take with it her missing him.  In his permanent absence from her life, the poems distill the starkness of Teel’s intimacies with herself.

James McMichael

Tracy Teel renders intimate agonies with relentless emotional rigor.  What she’s after is the real thing, and, remarkably, she finds it repeatedly in these poems: the singular consolation of articulate heartache which only the poised language of poetry can achieve.  The results for her reader are the pleasures of insight and beauty and the unflinching authenticity of getting it right.

Michael Ryan

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