I’ve been working on a review of Janaka’s book for a couple months. My mother died a few weeks into it (the review, not the book), which is highly appropriate both for the book’s themes and for my mother’s sense of humor. Because I’m the sensitive sort, however, and still working on non-attachment, Mom’s loss sorta knocked me out for a while. Then, mercifully, it also set me on a new track for the review. Which has since become an essay, of course, about a bunch of things. And as with everything else I write, I have no idea if I’ll ever 1) finish it or 2) publish it — so, in the meantime: here’s a recommendation to buy the book, and a poem from the collection, below.


The coffin a palindrome

Frail tub of water you could reach into
Make a fist and drain
The starlight in my blood

There is no I in funeral
I		solitary glyph
I 		a suture stretched across the page
I		the inevitable

Blessing of death       In death
I blossom       Send bouquets

Celebrate death like you would life
Buy yourself new shoes
Go out to dinner take a walk

Everyone has their own ways of keeping company

In the end there is no end just the first day
Of the rest of your life

A flock of waxwings in the rowan tree is
Evidence of a successful crossing

According to tradition it is best to return in the form of a bird

— from The Truth Is We Are Perfect, by Janaka Stucky (Third Man Books, 2015).