Sarah Gambito

Delivered is the second book by this young New York based poet. I don’t have the first, and so can’t comment on the trajectory, but this one is, dare I say it, enjoyable. It has a lot of “my mother” poems, a lot of references to family, grandparents, the immigrant experience. One balks at such references, mostly because of the sentimentality usually found in tandem with such subjects. Here we have a fresh take though, and when that entry point is language, the results are quite surprising. Consider “The Puppy”

Immigrant families began to arrive and children were born. Eventually the children picked up English at school. The English was cool and light like a puppy but more useful. They picked it up and threw it at each other….

a prose poem in the surrealist tradition, yes. “Some thought it…cute…some compared back legs and length of fur…” When the poems come at identity and representation from a slant perspective they are quite fun and yes, pack a punch.

However, the poems don’t always seem complete, or to have every word weighted, and even if a poem wants to appear as though it has bed-head, it probably needs to have each strand of hair accounted for… Still, the collection is inhabitable, pleasurable. The prose poems strong. You can hear Gambito read earlier work over at the Fishhouse and read a postcard poem here.

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