In Ellen Welcker’s The Botanical Garden, a world of people, events, and creatures become seen—not seen the way we see Twitter updates, but the way we see a new land for the first time.

The speaker of the title poem is a knowledgeable tour guide, a lover writing letters by hand, a mother speaking to the baby in her belly. The voice ebbs and flows between watcher/participant, mother/lover, I/We. The poem emphasizes dichotomy–us vs. them, insider/outsider, safe/endangered–only to dissolve such boundaries a moment later. The taken-for-granted becomes seen, the political becomes intimate, the intimate becomes public–and all of it swirls together like the waters of the ocean. The speaker is on a tour of the world by boat; she is of the sea–a cetacean; she is on a trip with her lover; she is Homeland Security agent; she is detainee. We the readers are also in shifting territory, observing and participating in a land both familiar and strange. The work is full of language from Homeland Security and the George W. Bush presidency. It also contains language of pregnancy and birth. Something is trying to be born. We stroll through a fantastic garden of whales, embryos, fences, labels.

This is when being an “official” blogger at the Feed really pays off. With not a sliver of compunction, I now point you to a page where you may pre-order my book of prose poetry, In This Alone Impulse, published by Noemi Press.


Here’s a fancy blurb about it from Brian Evenson:

“Locating itself on the boundary between poetry and fiction, In This Alone Impulse is beautifully replete with silence. One has the sense that the world outside is still there but dampened, and being reordered and reformed by the particular and peculiar logic and structures that these syntactically inventive prose blocks have. And yet, despite the formal concerns these pieces seem remarkably human and remarkably painful, opening up the blank avenues of a lone life. With each reading these pieces change, seeming less and less enigmatic and more insistently full of lyrical human meaning. A marvelous and original sequence; there’s really nothing else out there like it.”