FRUIT GEODE BY ALICIA JO RABINS
Alicia Jo Rabin’s second poetry collection, Fruit Geode, explores the multitudes contained within the body. Past, present, and future overlap and part within the cycle of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, and the speaker finds herself “juggling too many lifetimes to count / so I let them drop like planets / marbles falling on the carpet of ocean.” Her beautifully precise descriptions of fertility and pregnancy, “seed lined arc / mother papaya,” create a kaleidoscopic palette of the body, a subject which she treats with honesty—at turns praising the body, at others lamenting its changes, but always returning, again and again, to gratitude.
In examining these experiences of womanhood, the poems of Fruit Geode also sift through a wide variety of collective and inherited wisdom. Jewish mysticism, climate change, ritual, and herbal medicine thread through these poems, creating a web of experience that centers the speaker’s journey in her own body, her own relationships. Within this center lies the creative self, a witchy spirit, in which the speaker asks herself, “don’t you want / to steal one more spirit / from the spirit world / and bring her down / in the form of a small body / weaving itself / of stem cells?” and where the speaker looks back to the time before motherhood, where, “once life was a blank / white sea with blue lines.” Instead of loss and regret, the speaker renews her creative journey, finds transformation, and declares, “I become the page / that holds the story.”
— Review by Rome Morgan