Rhonda Ganz - Frequent, Small Loads of Laundry

Just the other day, I wrote on this blog that poetry is hard: but sometimes it's easier. Rhonda Ganz's debut poetry collection, for example, Frequent, small loads of laundry, is quotably insightful and a fun kind of smart:
When I plug my ears with yellow earplugs,
everything my husband says sounds like "I love you."
When what my husband says sounds like he loves me,
I check to see if maybe I've gone home with our neighbour by mistake.
("Say Again," p.12)
It makes good sense to me that Ganz began writing after hearing Wendy Morton reading on WestJet while she was their "poet of the skies," and that her acknowledgements section stresses her debt to Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier*. There's a mostly accessible lyricism to the work of all three poets, despite their quite distinct approaches and characteristic topics, and though some readers view the lyric mode as corrupt and corrupting, I genuinely admire the lyric's ability to connect with readers, to engage with them in complicated ways even (and maybe especially) where the subject appears slight.

That's precisely the case with Frequent, small loads of laundry, including in the poem of that title. (Listen to Ganz reading the poem here!) Ganz's poems of intimacy, domesticity, middle-aged lovers, disaster--"The day's a write-off / if neither of us draws blood"**--make your hair stand up a bit at the same time as they make you laugh.

Like I've complained before, I distrust funny, but then again, you don't want to be inside my head anyway. Better by far to spend some time with Rhonda Ganz: these poems are sharp and warm, poetic and readerly, and I think you'll enjoy them.

* - Lorna Crozier's blurb on this book makes me think maybe no one should ever ask her for one. It's a good book, definitely, but this is among the pufferiest blurbs I've seen in my whole life. Read it here if you don't believe me.
** - Quotation from "Mother Forgot to Lock the Door," p.18.


Popular Posts