In "Bloodlines," for example, the human impulses to procreate and to protect offspring expand to include a maple tree which "sends its helocopter seeds across the yard/ in desperation dreams of propagation." Does the tree hate the narrator/gardener who clips those seeds--or does it resign itself to sterility? Will it retaliate, tossing branches at the narrator's children during some future storm? The questions behind such questions are rich, the metaphors inventive, sometimes alarming, often humorous.
In "Three Screwdriver Hello," we're warned that "I get like a razor when you say/ [you] 'understand, ' mock the lonely inside me." In "Bleeding the Brakes Dry," the memory of hearing waves crash on a distant shore can become almost loud enough ("if I try hard enough") to drown out the angry mutterings of a husband out in the garage working on a car that's never going to make it back to that beach.
In other poems, we learn to read cracks in pavements and in paintings, cracks made by fingernails running ragged across human skin, cracks in the facade of sanity or sobriety. As the author writes:
"I have always found comfort in clutter and chaos, especially when it comes to the natural world and its constant battle with the order imposed by civilization. I delight in seeing spiders run out from underneath the sofa of a perfectly cleaned house, or watching ivy crack its way into a building's facade. For me, the pretense of order, in whatever form it takes, acts as a shield against the unpredictability and lurking chaos of the outside world. In Into the Cracks I aim to dissolve the lines between the unwritten rules which have formed our artificial environments and the reality of a chaotic universe."
The cover image for Into the Cracks is a photograph of one of the author's unconventional yet emotionally intense portraits--this one done by patiently, carefully, even meditatively, using a very sharp needle to push and pull colorful threads through the interstices between warp and weft of a quite conventional piece of canvas. Holly Day captures chaos in tiny spaces and holds it there for us to see. And hear. And taste and touch and smell.