– Christine Wald Hopkins
“Falling illuminated blue sky” By Meg Files. Finishing line press. $ 14.99.
“Don’t write about dead dogs or new babies / I tell my students. Or for God’s sake / rainbows… ”writes Meg Files, in a bright and thoughtful, but also engraved and ironic poem that includes – among other things – a rainbow and a new baby. “Everything has been said by better / than you, also by worse.”
This chapbook, written by the poet, novelist and former Pima College English and Journalism Department Chair Files, could serve as a master class in “[saying] it’s better than you. That, and a master class in the seamless interweaving of the staff with the natural, mythological and philosophical realms.
The family lies at the heart of the collection – twin sisters, parents, a son, a granddaughter – but as vague presences, not as figures in files; private and protected beings who share with the poet the loss, the sorrow, the wonder, the fear.
The volume is framed by the excursions Files made with her sisters – starting with a trip to the Galapagos; closure, including one in Iceland. His poetry is conversational, visual, precise, cool, often dry, as you can hear in this Galapagos poem about blue-footed boobies: the display of a fallen / chick…. / Observe the survival of the fittest . “