In 1963, a storm approaches Cuba, and an elderly woman named María Sirena knows that it is coming. She sees the “ferocious churn of the sky, like a black mouth opening and closing.” This mouth-storm tells storiesbut bigger than stories. The storm is “bigger than all of Cuba.” There is talk that this storm over Haiti had wrenched away the sea to reveal a sunken ship, and then dropped the sea back onto it.
Carey renders poetic moments of breakaway energy in a tight game of memory, reflection, loss, and regret. He feeds the ball again and again to what hurts him. Carey eschews the technical for poems that ground the reader in a vivid place and tell as clear a story as possible.
Reading Stanley Crawfords Travel Notes is like being in a tailspin. A safe one, perhaps, but a tailspin nonetheless. Everything is not as it should be; you feel disoriented. You go up in the air, then plummet; then you are safe on the ground. But you dont stay grounded. Before you know it, youre up in the air again, and have no idea how high you are or how much higher you might go.