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Memory and Desire by Gregory Luce

Source: Purchased
Paperback, 38 pgs.
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Memory and Desire by Gregory Luce is an undulating collection of poems filled with the roller coaster ride of desire and love, but also the tricky thing we call memory. The opening poem, “Desire,” speaks of an empty vessel that is filled and emptied, flowing in and out with the tidal waves of want. But like the vessel, an “indifferent” moon is pushing and pulling the waves – desire is everywhere. In the second poem, “Poem Beginning With a Found Line,” there’s the inkling of a chance meeting that doesn’t happen. But the lives of these two people run in parallel throughout. It’s one of those “what if” poems and it’s aching with longing.

Luce’s love poems in this collection will have readers sighing with longing and joy, especially with beautiful lines like “She could turn/and slide sideways/like a trick of the light./” in “Love Story.” (pg. 5) Or in “The Mechanism of Joy,” where “she floats in/all legs and tresses/clothes billowing as/light pours in/from every direction/and dust motes pulse/like electric particles/moving up the back/of my neck…/” (pg. 17-18)

But there’s also a sense of being adrift, too. In “Torn from a Notebook,” a narrator rushes through a subway station alone, “On the train you are/jostled, shaken, a dry/stick fallen away/from the bundle.//” (pg. 10) One of my favorite poems, “The wish to be an insect,” is so reminiscent of Kafka, I couldn’t help but imagine it — a man as an insect scurrying around. Something I’ve often wondered about traveling in the city full of people rushing here and there. There’s a loneliness in that scurrying, but also a sense of community and belonging – at least the desire for it.

Memory and Desire by Gregory Luce was a delightful read and full of surprising images and desires. Definitely includes some poems you’d want to read to someone you love, but it also includes some reflective pieces about belonging and community.

RATING: Cinquain

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About the Poet:

Gregory Luce is the author of the chapbooks Signs of Small Grace (Pudding House Publications) and Drinking Weather (Finishing Line Press), and the collection Memory and Desire (Sweatshoppe Publications). His poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Kansas Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Innisfree Poetry Review, If, Northern Virginia Review, Foundling Review, MiPOesias, Praxilla, Little Patuxent Review, The Rusty Nail, Rising Tide Review, Cactus Heart, Faircloth Review, and in the anthologies Living in Storms (Eastern Washington University Press) and Bigger Than They Appear (Accents Publishing). He lives in Washington, D.C., where he works as Production Specialist for the National Geographic Society. When not working or writing poems, he enjoys reading, birdwatching, hiking, bicycling, and spending time with his sons, Alex and Theo.

Mailbox Monday #680

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has its own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Velvet, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

Kill It with Fire: Manage Aging Computer Systems (and Future Proof Modern Ones) by Marianne Bellotti, narrated by Katie Koster, which I downloaded for work.

Kill It with Fire examines aging computer systems, the evolution of technology over time, and how organizations can modernize, maintain, and future-proof their current systems.

“Kill it with fire”, the typical first reaction to a legacy system falling into obsolescence, is a knee-jerk approach that often burns through tons of money and time only to result in a less efficient solution. This book offers a far more forgiving modernization framework, laying out smart value-add strategies and proven incremental techniques that work equally well for ancient systems and brand-new ones.

Internationally known for restoring some of the world’s oldest, messiest computer networks to operational excellence, software engineering expert Marianne Bellotti distills key lessons and insights from her experience into practical, research-backed guidance on topics from “chaos” testing solutions to building momentum-driven teams and effective communication structures. Using clear explanations and simple exercises, she’ll help you determine when to modernize, how to organize, what migrations will add the most value, and where to focus your maintenance efforts for maximum impact. With witty, engaging prose, Bellotti explains why new doesn’t always mean better, weaving in illuminating case studies and jaw-dropping anecdotes from her work in the field.

You’ll learn:

Tips and best practices for assessing architecture and testing assumptions
How to avoid trends and pick the right modernization solutions for your specific needs
How to determine whether your migrations will add value before you invest in them
Critical considerations every organization should weigh before moving data to the cloud
Team-based strategies and motivational tricks for keeping modernization plans on track
Key outcomes and checklists for determining when a project is finished

Packed with resources, exercises, and flexible frameworks for organizations of all ages and sizes, Kill It with Fire will give you a vested interest in your technology’s future.

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary, which I purchased.

Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.

These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up—Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.

Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they are all in serious danger of falling in love with a man who may have not just one or two but three women on the go….

Is there more to him than meets the eye? Where was he on Valentine’s Day? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?

Memory and Desire by Gregory Luce, which I purchased.

Memory and Desire is a collection of poetry exploring the themes articulated in the title, both individually and as they are woven together. Roaming from childhood recollections to captured moments from the natural and the urban environments, the book includes poems ranging from brief lyrics to longer narratives, some humorous, others wistful.

 

What did you receive?