I’ve been reading Paula Green’s latest poetry collection, ‘Slip Stream’. It’s a very moving collection. Diagnosed with breast cancer – ‘nothing feels solid enough to walk upon’ - the poet goes through the various stages of treatment – mammogram, biopsy, operation and radiation treatment. Each poem is untitled but describes a step along the experience of living with the illness. Hope jostles with anxiety - 'she never likes the way people/ say I know you’ll be fine when/ the future is unpredictable, as random as love.’
I had enjoyed Green’s previous collection, ‘Making Lists for Frances Hodgkins.’ As art was the unifying factor in that collection, music is in this one. Indeed there is a list of ‘Songs for the Treatment Room’ at the end of the poems. What I particularly enjoyed was the craftsmanship of the poems - the writer at work. ‘As random as love’ – what an accurate phrase.
The succeeding line is equally superb – ‘or the way birds shit on her car roof.’ True! The randomness of people in a waiting room – the convergerce of a few lifetimes for a brief moment of sharing unarticulated fears. Paula has done this well. I commend the book.