Whiteness of Bone by Gloria Mindock
Glass Lyre Press (June 1, 2016)
Hope and peace is pitted against relentless oppression and death in Gloria Mindock's Whiteness of Bone. Mindock gathers the eye witness accounts of the voiceless, the unheard, and crafts a voice in their stead. From El Salvador to Rwanda, Darfur to the Congo, mass graves and war crimes deafen and suffocate. Genocide is a quagmire of ruthless animal instinct, senseless violence, rape and torture, massacre and slaughter. When such darkness goes ignored, the gaping maw of the abyss grows ever larger still. Victims of war escape only to be confronted by the merciless apathy of the world. Survival is an exercise in learned helplessness. Mere existence is not living. The gutted and the mute fall silent. Yet what can poetry do? It is language when there are no adequate words. It is urgency, immediacy, and testimony. It is how compassion and empathy can pour themselves into the confines of silence and fill it up instead. When there is simply no explanation left for catastrophe and horror, it is poetry that can capture and cradle the souls of those decaying in fields of white bone.
$16.00 | ISBN: 978-1941783191 | 88 Pages
La Portile Raiului by Gloria Mindock
Ars Longa Press, 2010, Romania
Translated into the Romanian by Flavia Cosma
Nothing Divine Here by Gloria Mindock
U ŠOKU ŠTAMPA PRESS, 2010
From the Preface
Passionate and rebellious, Gloria Mindock’s poetry jumps forcefully from the page, grabs the reader by the collar of his coat and holds and hangs on to his/her attention.
In unison with the poet’s heart, the nature of things is in big turmoil here, forever searching for the elusive Divine Harmony, the only force capable of rearranging the world into one of love and understanding.
In a perpetual state of sadness and grief, these poems descend to the very core of the raw discourse
of the soul, devoid of artifice and pose. The stark simplicity of their statement disarms us and leaves
us vulnerable in front of the bitter reality of life.
-Flavia Cosma, author of seventeen books of poetry, a novel, a travel memoir, and four books for children
In Nothing Divine Here, Mindock invokes a resurrection, the power of love to spring eternal from
the hurt we all know. She looks at the personal and the political, that haunting polarity, and weaves
a gentle but brave hopefulness between them.
-Afaa Michael Weaver, Simmons College
Gloria Mindock is a fearless poet. She gets right in the face, in the very nostril of death. She
confronts her past lovers, her dreams, dashed or otherwise, not with cool detachment, but with a
visceral lyrical and emotional engagement. She has made her pain into high art, into the high holy.
Mindock, is a force to be reckoned with, so watch your back!
-Doug Holder, Arts Editor The Somerville News, Founder Ibbetson Street Press
$15.00 | ISBN: 978-0-578-04760-7 | 87 Pages
More Praise for "Nothing Divine Here."
Review is titled "Ambiguous Divinity." Review is by Michael Parker
Scroll down to March 18, 2011
The stunning thing about Mindock's work is its overwhelming sense of the real world in real time. It's "poetic" in its own way, well-crafted, agile, nicely balanced, but in terms of content, you move into Mindock's world and you're suddenly in a basic, essential reality that hardly anyone in the poetry world touches: "I see your skull veiled by a cloud/Eyelids sunk/Hands pressed on knees/Heart gone/A sight of secrets//I think living is brave/Death is a release/The dog knows -- heaven is nothing but a frill." ("Dog Dance," p.41). An interesting mixture of existential toughness crowned by an ultimate sense of final nothingness.
It's interesting how Mindock's world-view combines a dispairing sense of expanding out into the horrific Now with a vision of everything eventually dissolving into nothingness: "Living on this earth is/one big nightmare.,/This landscape frightens me./Too much death./Think about it.//I refuse to fall short of detail so/ here it is: Death of emotion/Death of love/Death of skin...//I'm going away to where I really belong./To me, this is uplifting." ("Aftermath," p.63).
Very few style-games here. This is poetry as a minimalist Declaration of Finality. And the very fact that
Mindock doesn't play style-games makes her vision a thousand times more effective/powerful than the word-game
players who turn poetry into a kind of syntactical basketball.
"Nothing Divine Here" review by Susan Tepper reprinted from the Small Press Review
March 30, 2011
It is all about love, but this is a hymn to the fragile heart, so true to its divinity that these poems
have moved beyond plain reality into a realm of nearly Greek proportions.
"I ask you not to talk / it doesn't matter / just listen / It is dangerous to breathe- / to shape the day
into your / longing…" Known love that has gone and the plunge into where it may be hiding. Pain pressed
to the page like butterflies saved under glass. "Hunt me out, death / I am nothing but a touch to / this day,
a memory of night / and bread for some other secret." A sharp left turn into another's soul, where we've
no right to be, yet how can one turn away from such clarity and the ghostly beauty of this language.
Mindock accepts agony as part of the human condition, and though these poems rail, they never shy away
or pretend anything other than flat truth as the poet knows it to be. "I realized one thing / about my life today /
It doesn't matter /Years from now / the company I had, will / have ceased / This planet will stop /
This universe / exiled…" There are love poems and there are poems about love.
Review by Michael T. Steffen reprinted from the Boston Area Small Press Poetry Scene
December 21, 2010
Again and again readers mistake the authorship of writing. When something unpalatable comes across, we're disinclined to read it. Poetry is a vessel from the old school, one whose techniques for navigating are subjected to the winds that blow, and the crisis which is emphatically expressed in Gloria Mindock's new book 'Nothing Divine Here' in the first poem immediately announces that the dilemma is at the source or well of the inspiration, where a force like greed is being communicated so relentlessly, she can manage little more than to trace the audacity and violence coming at her, in the absence of grace and diplomacy, those gentler persuasions of the struggling heart:I don't dream anymoreI'm only a skeletonthinking about watercruelly hungering for aharvest ("Water," p. 3).You can fool some of the people some of the time. While these poems from Gloria Mindock aren't likely to uplift readers, they will convince their readers with their dismissal of foolery from the page.The contradictions and metaphors that Mindock finds document a frustrated transformation of spirit light, as though now cast on an inalterable, un-pliable clay. The dream of a caring response from the Buberian "thou" of her address can only be reclaimed and reabsorbed in the ceaseless presence of our physical mechanical environment. It is this pervasive. Sometimes when I sleepI dream you love mebut when I'm awake your heartfills with traffic ("Empty Field," p. 11). The observation is undeniable and subject to much of the rage which these poems express.If the artist grasps no pliancy in this inspiration, however, the stuff of art, in poetry language, is itself endowed with nuance and play. By its nature poetry, witty, paradoxical, orchestrates the relationships of its words. To take any of its statements too literally is to be trumped. The apparently pessimistic sense of the title 'Nothing Divine Here', while evoking the Divine, to human senses becomes as true of an image as we get when we look, say, into the source of light-an alarmingly damaged perception of a black spot which we hope isn't permanent. "I am what I am"-much human experience has agreed is the thing the directive mystery at the center of our existence would pronounce of Him/Herself. Mindock virtually makes visible that disappearance with the title '(Nothing) Divine…'-Where?And the "Nothing," set mimetically as it were beside the Divine's stubbornness to be, exists by virtue of remaining indefinite. Nothing is also a wink at feminine determination, in the Shakespearean sense, the ribald opposite of something, that physical void which nature haunts to fill, that place of creation, and so the poet's plangent song, sounding out anger, danger perhaps, but certainly love in the persistence to find and make expressions with this indelible obstacle of our human reflection. 'Nothing Divine Here' is a volume of poetry that will yield in measure with the reader's curiosity and nearness, quintessentially exemplifying what the French critic Rolland Barthes termed the zero degree of writing, from a voice like Philomela's through the inner ear of conscience.
Blood Soaked Dresses by Gloria Mindock
Ibbettson Street Press, 2007
In her fascinating poem cycle, Gloria Mindock jolts back into memory the roots of El Salvador's present day violence.
Mindock coaxes to the page the voices of the dead who lie, less in peace, than in restless obsession with the atrocities
they suffered. She brings forth as well the voices of the living who seem startled to find that they died somewhere between
the horrors they witnessed and the grave they have yet to lie down in. Blood Soaked Dresses is a
beautiful, harrowing first book.
We are reminded of Cezar Vallejo's witnesses: bones, solitude, rain, and the roads -- that we are tied to each
other in beauty and suffering, life and death. Gloria Mindock's poems grant us the voice of a soul caught on a
limb between the promise of peace everlasting and impossible resurrections. Poem after poem we are asked to
uncover those whose bitter ash weeps over the world, and no other country/wants to see it. This book is written
from a compassionate heart that whispers and grieves, one that isn't afraid to holds its gaze.
A poet must never shy from the necessary, no matter how hard it is. In poetry that is both elegant and brutal,
Gloria Mindock exposes the horror of the Salvadorian conflict especially on women. Though Salvador has faded
from the front pages, the war has reincarnated in other countries on other continents making "Blood Soaked Dresses"
completely contemporaneous. This poetry possesses, as Yeats said, "a terrible beauty." And we need it now
more than ever.
The reader of Blood Soaked Dresses is enriched by Mindock's power and commitment. She has earned a place
among our great protest poets, reminding us, with lyric tension, that social justice is our constant
and necessary concern.
$13.50 | ISBN: 978-1-4303-1034-1 | 72 Pages
Order at Lulu.com: http://www.lulu.com/content/1172519
To read reviews go to:
Boston Globe review by Ellen Steinbaum:
Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene Reviews: