These are poems of positions and relationships, shifting angles on received wisdom or cultural cliche, fiercely signifying in an age of raging information and vicious exploitation. For Patricia Spears Jones, subjectivity is a challenge and a bugaboo. "Who wants to know your stuff unless Subject (Black and Female) is violated and/or perseveres against all odds?" asks Spears Jones. She tackles grand issues like racism and sexism, but with an intimate poet's eye to details, moments, miracles, pains, and the wildness of the moon and stillness of water. History and the visual serve as analogs for this collection, tying together a diverse group of poems written about the paintings and statuary in Paris; mansions in Virginia; the commes de garcons
store in Soho; or a chocolate shop's window in Munich.
This is a textured landscape of troubles and terrors and temptations galore. A world that would look familiar to Dante, whose observations about winners and losers haunts these poems. "We know more than we care to admit and live lives of such great challenge that where humor and awe finds us is where poetry begins," Spears Jones writes. "Luck is a harsh thing to hang one's life on. Better to be curious. Get up. Walk out the door and face what the world offers with humor, with courage, with joy."