An electric breeding ground of lust and loss, Rookery by Traci Brimhall is simultaneously gilded and gritty, a collection of poems like glass—vulnerable yet deliciously sharp. Propelled by a search for redemption, faith, and even a little revenge, the speaker of Rookery has the authority to be furious and seductive and the advantage of uncertainty...the pages are filled with more than just visceral emotions and the confidence that comes with self-righteousness; there is also, maybe most importantly, self-reflection.
This poems are intimate, harrowing and yet bizarrely hopeful, an exploration of possibilities. Brimhall proves that bitter regret and compassion can coexist in the same form, that like “a blooming apple tree sheltering a nest of dead birds” there can be harmony between beauty and decay.
Myth, fear, sex, God, betrayal, apologies, and insects populate these poems, from aubades to elegies, but the book is most notably infested with birds. Between ribs, wounded and weary, articulate in metaphor and image, singing, always singing, the birds in Rookery are in two parts: panicked and peaceful. It is in that unusual and magnetic balance that these poems succeed, giving shape to what we didn’t know we were missing.