Brenda Coultas unearths the eccentricities and tragedies that congregate along humanity’s borders.
Incorporating memoir, folktales, fact, and hearsay into two distinctly moving poems, this collection begins with “The Abolition Journal,” set near the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, and along the Kentucky border where “looking from the free state / there is a river then a slave state.” Here, Coultas delves into her personal history and uncovers a land still troubled by the specter of slavery. In “A Lonely Cemetery,” Coultas collects and investigates “true” tales of UFO sightings, poltergeists, legendary monsters, and eerie crematoriums, exploring the very nature of narrative truth through the lens of the ghost story.
“As the title suggests, The Marvelous Bones of Time is a meditation on earthly things: vanished nations, the mutable names of rivers, the clues left behind when families disperse; terror and beauty, the banalized crimes of complicity, the diversions of superstition—but also the persistence of clairvoyance. Resistance in the form of a poem such as this.” —Rikki Ducornet