Wednesday, May 2, 2018



INVISIBLE FISH by Susan F. Glassmeyer
(Dos Madres Press, Loveland, OH, 2018)

As an animal lover, I was struck by “On Old Congress Run Road,” the second poem in Susan F. Glassmeyer’s INVISIBLE FISH as it presents about a “lost Lab” who was “sideswiped by a car going north on the pike, / then struck by a driver heading south.” It’s to the poet’s credit that she was able to draw out such a painful narrative with elegance and grace. Here are the last three stanzas:

Such an accomplishment as “On Old Congress Run Road” could not be possible, it seemed to me after my first read, without some deep empathy by the poet—an empathy that allows moments not just to be fully described but imbued with resonant significance. Indeed, I sensed the same quality right away from the next poem:

The combination of the first three poems (yes, the first poem “Ohio Ice Storm”, which ends “May we never break / from all this beauty,” is also movingly effective) made me anticipate that the next poem might be a weak(er) one—that the position of fourth poem might be where the poet chooses to place a  more modest poem to allow the reader a sort of rest stop from the intensities of the prior three.  Yet the fourth, fifth, sixth … poems were also alchemically distilled to reverberate. Here’s another poem:

Thus, with growing gratitude, I continued reading until I finished the entire collection, after which I concluded: there is not a single superfluous poem. Each poem is magnificent in its own way.  I can only describe the effect of Glassmeyer’s poems to be the admirable result of writing with nerve endings. This is obviously not easy to achieve. I am grateful for her prowess and end with a deft shard:


Eileen Tabios is the editor of Galatea Resurrects (GR)She loves books and has released over 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Her 2018 poetry collections include HIRAETH: Tercets From the Last Archipelago, MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION: A Poetry Generator, TANKA: Vol. 1and ONE TWO THREE: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems which is a bilingual English-Spanish edition with translator Rebeka Lembo. She is the inventor of the poetry form “hay(na)ku” which will be the focus of a 15-year anniversary celebration at the San Francisco and Saint Helena Public Libraries in 2018. More information is available at