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Studio Magazine Review
In this first collection of poetry, Diane L. Tucker's life experience to date is laid out in finely-crafted cameos. We can appreciate both the events which have shaped her and the insights which have given meaning to the events. She writes of love affairs and stretch marks, of being adopted and of her own children, each episode illuminated by a deep understanding that raises it high above the ordinary. She is both observer and philosopher; nothing escapes her attention, and every subject is treated with respect and compassion. Like Lorraine Marwood or Philip Hodgins, she adds lyricism and originality to the events of everyday life, but often in the opposite way, by creating a metaphor that expresses in everyday images what she has thought or felt.

Suddenly these dreams it's like stirring
the soup pulling everything up
from the bottom of the bowl again
and again exposing it to the cool air
so it won't bum me
so it won't burn me

These metaphors are sometimes quite disturbing:

every second clotting the nostrils
each moment a coal ablaze in the throat

but can also be wryly humorous:
your shirt
every time I pass it I have to pick it up and smell it
won't you please come get it
help me get this shirt-scent out of my head
help me lead some kind of ordinary life

or simply enticing:

you are a breath stirring at the edge of the playground
This is true poetry: the exact word or phrase defining the experience of both poet and reader. There are no unnecessary extras, and the whole is skillfully crafted so that we are almost unaware of the techniques used.

hips to hips hammer quickly, strike the nail's head
would you build a house so slapdash
it crashed with one hot breath?

This attractively designed and laid out book would make a powerful addition to anyone's library of contemporary poetry. I hope it is the first of many from this thought-provoking poet.
-Sue Polites