The title of Ariana Reines's third collection evokes both the messenger in Greek mythology and the mysterious substance of alchemy, once referred to as quicksilver. From "Gold": I want the gold. / Shimmer shimmer shimmer shimmer shimmer // When I drag this metal chair across the floor / I swear / The chord it makes in its screeching is the sum / Of the opening bars of "Suzanne."
In this substantial volume, through accessible poems that take the form of spells with illustrative symbols, fragments, and declarative lists, Reines gets at a universality of existence that often necessitates becoming uncomfortably close with that which is grimy, bodily, pornographic, and ugly. In true alchemic form, this confrontation results in human connection, with Reines as the conduit. From "We Can Do It"
I know to suffer Alone is not an innovation. You know this one Too. And to divine Wisdom in a purl Of blood takes art In this open world You know. It takes art And you have it.
This book review originally appeared in American Poets.