Poetry, chapbook, 28 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
Where does the self end and the looking begin? When our methods of production and consumption increase daily, Birds (index without order) is a chapbook that would rather study the economy of the natural world, with its abundant noises and migrations and light. The chapbook creates a surface, “the grass beneath whatever image I have in mind when I think of the sparrow,” with the words (birds) written across it. Not merely grounded, these poems are of the ground, as curious about the human perspective as they are about the bird one. They know the reach of their empathy will never exceed the limitations of their humanity. They reach nonetheless.
The result is a collection driven by the tension between the observer and that which is observed, between being and being seen; between the sound of a bird and the sound of a body listening. There exists in the work a striving for some new method of communication, for a way of speaking about the natural world that is also speaking through it.
“How do I tell you what bird
I saw without hiding what
I saw inside something
Birds (index without order) is more than an index. It is a constellation: it is a series of poems pretending to be birds pretending to be poems again.
Sarah Cook is a creative writing coach. She lives on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, where she shares a small blue house with her partner and two cats. Her writing has appeared in Sad Girls Club, Porter House Review, Oregon Humanities Magazine, Bright Lights Film Journal, and in Neon Door, where she serves as poetry editor. For coaching inquiries, a full list of publications, or to sign up for her newsletter, For the Birds, visit her website at sarahteresacook.com. She loves rocks, bugs, and rollerblading.