at the end of gospel, by Savannah Grant-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

at the end of gospel, by Savannah Grant

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Savannah Grant
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Poetry, chapbook, 24 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

at the end of gospel reads primarily as an unapologetic and unrelenting look at unrequited love: alt love poems that aren’t meant to be read by the subject; failed attempts at emotional processing. This collection asks what might happen if the one thing you relied on to hold your identity together suddenly becomes inaccessible; is it right to assign your identity to anything at all? This collection, while superficially directed at an absent lover, can also be interpreted as a metaphor for an internal loss of identity, a missing piece of Self that one day was also found to be absent, leaving an irrevocable void and no answers; or, at least, answers that you don’t want to hear or are always out of reach.

at the end of gospel sits with you on cloudy days. The poems dwell because they want to and need to, whether or not that is the right thing to do. Everyone always says to move on, right? But some moments stand still once that absence becomes known and, as certain memories become objects, encased in the bullet-proof glass of inevitably passing time, the poems turn them over and over like a puzzle, trying to find a way back in, but none exist. The words can only transcribe the memories they are shut out from but can’t stop looking at. This collection becomes a lesson in holding on versus letting go, where holding on is the only side of the experiment that has been tested. The absence itself becomes an object, a character in the poems.

Although the sentiments are airy and impractical, the imagery is grounded in the natural and earthy, in the ice and trees. Everything visible is a reminder of what was once in place of the absence object; what has been lost is now ingrained in geography. The absence becomes even more tangible. A person as time of day or time of year, a relationship as landscape, Self as seasonality. The many layers of interpretation in these poems are optional, however. One might just read them about someone who never answered a text message. One might read them to indulge in sadness over a break-up. Or, the repetitions of certain phrases and iconic imagery, sounds, and locations allow readers to immerse themselves in a fairy tale far removed from themselves. Specifics can go either way.

The poems exist in two worlds at once: in acceptance and in agony, in desperate fantasy and in bleak reality, in solitude and yet always in the company of what has been lost. The conversations will never be spoken out loud but are recorded here. They waver, they shift, they mirage, and then they draw a still life. The writing is straightforward, blunt, and visceral at times, while simultaneously veering towards the dreamlike, hymnal, and incantatory. Take from this collection what you need and leave the rest behind.

Savannah Grant lives in Western MA where she cleans houses for a living and sells vintage clothing on the side. She is a graduate of Smith College where she won awards for her poetry and writing. She has several poems published in Sixfold Journal, recently completed her first book-length collection, and is putting together chapbooks to hopefully share with an audience in the future. Savannah is also an avid painter and printmaker, and is a member at a local studio. Her artwork has been shown and sold in local galleries this past winter. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, bike rides, and trying to find the best decaf latte around town.