"In Wrecker's Ball, everything is in a state of constant flux: the landscape of Kentucky, the evolving birds and foliage, the light changing. And yet, certain things--like a broken heart--seem to have the power to hold fast our thoughts as if fixed in time and mind. These states of longing, of loss, and the desire to hold onto something that in its passing is already long gone, is like "oars pulling towards // opposing shores." In this book, Bachman has created a poetics of place in which sex, passion, longing, and memory are the landscape; and the landscape is "arranged over crests and bumps and / bones, her own."
"Written in lush yet concise language, Merle Bachman’s latest poem series, Wrecker’s Ball, is a consideration of human separation—from the natural world that surrounds us and from each other. Beginning with the intensely lyrical poem “Some Landscapes (Kentucky),” Bachman sketches out our struggle with nature as an emotional landscape that as often as not stands in opposition to our desires even while evoking our love of its beauty: “regal spring, cold under the eaves// yet always the smell of disappointment.” This ambivalence is also part of our most prized human interaction, what we call “love.” In the midst of a storm, the poem’s “she” and her husband huddle in the basement of their old house: “she keeps waiting for the moment// they will turn to one another, hang on… The winds pass them by.” This complex weaving of emotions—of longing, repulsion, desire, fear and more—courses throughout the text, which leads to a final instant of merging that evaporates as quickly as the skin of water on a swimmer’s back."