Publishers Weekly, 1994-02-28 Masini is a poet of passion whose particularly American voice can be heard in the most unlikely of poetic settings. In this, her first book, she has chosen unlyrical urban spaces--basements, parking lots, a bandshell by a river--and transformed these landscapes with generosity and energy. Subterranean forces take part in the play of her imagery, and the writer controls their resonance. In ``What Drives Her,'' for instance, a poem about a woman dancing, the process of memory is described in terms of surfacing: ``Her father dances inside her, / a kind of dim, gritty music. / And her heart, her insistent heart, / floats up panting /as though shaken up / from a buried place.'' To Masini's credit, a reader may feel that some of the surfacing going on in these poems is still happening, that the poems are the byproducts of the process, or even the process itself. Her gaze is steady, whether looking at horror or beauty (``we learn to live in a torn place''); when evoking a place or a moment, she effectively mixes the mundane with the sublime, as in ``Wheel of Fortune'' (alluding both to the TV game show and to the Tarot's archetypal wheel of fortune). The choices she makes in her poems lead to brave and honest writing, even if formal considerations are sometimes sacrificed on the confessional altar. (Apr.)
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