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It Isn't That They Mean to Kill You
by Penelope Moffet


Penelope Moffet doesn’t flinch in the face of the real, but finds its essence under the scrim of the obvious. In my reckoning, it is the task of the poet to illuminate for others places they may not wish, but need, to visit. From "Ode to the Poop Bucket": "you too/remind of what’s/more pleasant/to forget". Moffet is an intelligent, observant, painterly guide through the intersections of human/animal behavior.
—Donna Hilbert, Gravity: New & Selected Poems

Penelope Moffet’s poetry in this fine collection is like the wind in her poem "Blow," sweeping through the landscapes of the high desert, exploring the shapes of flora, fauna and the author’s own inner landscapes. "…here it knows / where water bubbles / above ground" Moffet writes of the wind, but she could be describing herself too, for it "has had its nose in Riverside / and Long Beach. Now / it wants to come clean." She, too, "sniffs out wild" things that exist in remote places, far from one’s home and the comfort of the familiar. Like Sharon Olds, Moffet looks unblinkingly—whether at the crude details of a pee bucket or poop bucket in the house she has borrowed "from the hermit friend," or the soft quality of "Milklight" and "color washes undergirding / all the rest, translucent / windows opening / one into another." Like these poems. Carefully crafted. "Someone spent a lot of time / on these —"
—Grant Hier, Poet Laureate of Anaheim