Mary Weems' For(e)closure
is a forensic analysis of an unceremonious crisis and current catastrophe
where profits are plastered over the interests and corporeal necessities
of people whose lives have been uprooted, upended and undermined into upheaval.
This is no drive-by depiction of desperation brought on by deceit, but
an insider's on-the-table autopsy where headlines are housed then stripped
away to make room for the personification of the inanimate and animated
lives of homes and those who once occupied them-where even the hole produced
by a doorstop gives perspective. What is foreclosed here, ultimately, is
humanity; and in Weems' capable surgical hands, those involved in the dehumanizing
enterprise of deception, do not have the last word or prepotency. For(e)closure
is a collection that is vital, necessary, right on time and right on the
money, giving voice to the voiceless whose lives have been destroyed and
lost in the cold, calculating, man-made disaster of displacement.
author of An Onion of Wars and Broke on Ice
For(e)closure is a timely and textured chronicle of
the human costs of the house foreclosure crisis in the United States, which
dispossessed millions: "this is Depression in motion/what happens/before
more jobs are lost, markets crash/like cars." Combining photographic
ekphrasis, news headlines, vignettes, lyrics, and object-personifications,
Mary Weems' poems explore the human cost of widespread greed. Drawing upon
her own experiences of home and house-impermanence, Weems creates an unflinchingly
detailed chronicle of loss. Merging her voice to the voices to the dispossessed,
Weems refuses closure, making elegies of outrage against the terrible silence.
We can be grateful for such insight and imaginative vision, not only for
her singing the broken, but also for singing the fighters and survivors:
"no matter what/I won't leave/not giving in to/ banker's creed."
author of To See the Earth
Foreclosure, the latest poetic effort by Dr. Mary E.
Weems is a compassionate and profound examination of one of this nation's
ongoing and contemporary tragedies even as we speak. One just needs to
gaze at the table of contents to gain insight at where the text is going:
Worry, Last Day, Dinner Table etc. to understand that this is a unique
book that speaks in the voice of not only the displaced of this economic
maelstrom but also in the voice of the empty rooms and objects left behind
that once made a home. These poems tear the fabric of the heart as they
bear witness to the crumbling lives of the lower and upper middle class.
Weems is a prophetess of the same caliber as the late great, Octavia Butler
in this symphony of sorrow hiding in plain sight. This book stands in bold
relief to the so called "high art" contemplating it's navel while
--Lamont B. Steptoe,
Winner of an American Book Award