Saturday poetry pick: In the State I’m In

This week I was lucky enough to have an advance copy of Kathryn Rantala’s book In the State I’m In, from Ravenna Press. I was so excited to read this book, after enjoying some of the poems at Cascadia Review. These poems explore geographical regions in Washington State, starting West, moving Along the Columbia, and ending in the East.

The spare nature of the poems gives me room and time to imagine myself in each place.

From “Okanogan”:

“signs of the familiars
the high house peaked
barns
rubbed bright
where light gets hold of them”

From “Sun and Gorge”:

“And if on horseback knoll
or ridge or plain
or on the iron of a high butte

it draws the adorations out of you”

From “Down the Road Toward Tekoa”:

“What the guidebook says to bring off-road
may be extinguished
sometimes that is hope”s

The space around the images opens up landscapes–especially in the East section’s poems, where I can imagine the expanse and the wind blowing over the small details of stones, birds, a red car.

Reading these poems, I want to get in my red car and drive east, over the Cascades, stay on I90 past the turnoff to Yakima, be in that space. And part of me feels as though I already have.