Acclaimed poet Susan Wheeler, whose last individual collection predicted the spiritual losses of the economic collapse, turns her attention to the most intimate of subjects: the absence or loss of love.
A meme is a unit of thought replicated by imitation; examples of memes, Richard Dawkins wrote, "are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches." Occupy Wall Street is a meme, as are internet ideas and images that go viral. What could be more potent memes than those passed down by parents to their children?
Wheeler reconstructs her mother's voice - down to its cynicism and its mid twentieth-century midwestern vernacular - in "The Maud Poems," a voice that takes a more aggressive, vituperative turn in "The Devil - or - The Introjects." In the book's third long sequence, a generational inheritance feeds cultural transmission in "The Split." A set of variations on losses and break-ups - wildly, darkly funny throughout and, in places, devastatingly sad - "The Split" brings Wheeler's lauded inventiveness, wit, and insight to the profound loss of love. One read, and the meme "Should I stay or should I go?" will be altered in your head forever.