“Slow Depth” by Jory Mickelson— When Desire is Stark and Poetry is Lush

Mickelson, Jory. “Slow Depth”, Winged City Chapbooks, 2012.

When Desire is Stark and Poetry is Lush

Amos Lassen

I mentioned in one of my reviews not long ago that my biggest joy in reviewing is finding someone new who really speaks to me. I do not know Jory Mickelson except from Facebook and the only speaking we have ever done is about getting me a copy of his book. Therefore I had no idea of what to expect and I like that in that I am usually pleasantly surprised. Mickelson is a poet who writes about desire in all of its forms. He dives right in and wastes no words as he shares with us his two main desires—one is to return to nature which we all have gotten so far way from (remember sitting on the front porch at dusk and catching fireflies? Or playing games with chalk on the sidewalk?) and the desire to belong to the world and to society. However Mickelson’s desire is calm and taken in stride—we do not feel him yelling to get out.

“I appease the stream

Speak calmly to it

my voice reflects

the softer flow of summer”.

There is desire without despair, a desire that comes but does not haunt.

There were times my eyes filled with tears over the beauty of the poems. Nature is everywhere and Mickelson is there with it but not yet part of it. This is his quest and whether he uses fish or birds or man to express the way he feels, the emotion is both sensed and felt by the reader. We see the land through the poet’s eyes and his beauty becomes our beauty. (Try to remember the last time you felt that way). I try to read a couple of his verses every morning knowing that in doing so, my day will probably be better. A little beauty in the morning can last the entire day and if it doesn’t, the book is close at hand.

Mickelson’s world is physical and from this physicality comes his humanity of which we are aware in each of the thirteen poems. Here thirteen is a very lucky number and it is through Mickelson that each day can become more meaningful and we can be surrounded by more beauty.

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