Point of No Return
6 x 9 inches
. . . Where is the point of no return?
No one sees it coming or
can tell you when.
When love reaches a point of no return, how
does one respond to a fractured landscape and its tumbling uncertainties?
In this poetic cycle, respected New Mexico writer Anne Valley-Fox looks
for clues to the meaning of intimacy and the provenance of corruption.
(What made you blind? Why did you woo oblivion?) In language
by turns raucous, wry, tender and tough, these incisive narratives find
voice in the mythology of the ordinary. The poems are sure, masterful,
but not mere expositions of craftthey are made of passion and
a willingness to risk. Her work resonates with a depth of metaphor that
startles, delights and often exposes the raw facts of marriage as it
actually lives. Theodore Roethke said that the poet's job is to lament
& to praiseas this collection of poems surely reveals.
If the preeminent subject of poetry is poetry
itself (as has famously been claimed), then the runner-up must be love.
The poems in this collection are love poems in the fullest, most authentic
sense. They are poems about loves birth, about its transformation,
about its death. They are, in other words, poems about the mystery of
it, one of the hardest burdens humans have to bearwhich is precisely
why we return to it so often.
Anne Valley Fox uses language with exquisite
artistry and with relentless honesty: The miner's lungs . . .
/ have darkened with elements / forged in the workshops of stars.
What she helps us to see is not always comfortable, but it is almost
always surprising: how the body, in its loves and losses, is connected
to the body of the earth, and how . . . tenderly, earth remembers.
Restrained and unsentimental, yet rich in
depths of feeling and resilient humor, the poems in Point of No Return
record the all-too-human drama of loss and desire of that which
remains after loves demise. Writing with eloquent clarity, in
poems as lucid as dawn, Anne Valley-Fox has given us a brave and memorable
account of the point of no return that time when the only way
out is to move on, wherever on might be.
Anne Valley-Foxs Point of No Return
offers an intricate tango: the push-pull of separation and reconnection,
enchantment and disillusionment, the tug of gravity and the urge to
soar. Valley-Fox does this dance with grace and wit even as the narrative
takes us through the treadmill of domesticity and the ickiness of divorce.
She has the mind and heart of a supreme sensualist, which luckily for
us translates lusciously into some mighty fine poetry. This book finds
Valley-Fox at the top of her game as a goddess and a wordsmith, an irresistible
Long time New Mexico resident, Anne Valley-Fox worked as a Poet-in-the-Schools
with New Mexico Arts during the 1970s and 80s. From 1991-94, she mentored
teen writers at Santa Fes Center for Contemporary Arts. Since
1986, she has worked with Project Crossroads, a non-profit educational
resource group based in Santa Fe. She is co-author with Sam Keen of
the nonfiction work Your Mythic Journey Finding Meaning in Your Life
through Writing and Storytelling. Her poems are collected in
Sending the Body Out (1986) and a special issue of Fish Drum
Magazine (1999); as well as in the anthologies New Mexico Poetry
Renaissance (1994 ); The Best of Mothering: 1976-1996; and
In Company: New Mexico Poets After 1960 (UNM Press, 2004) She
lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico