THE MÖBIUS STRIP CLUB OF GRIEF, BY BIANCE STONE
In The Möbius Strip Club of Grief, Bianca Stone moves like Dante through an imagined underworld: a club where the “the dead don’t want your tips. They just/ want you to listen to their poems.” Stone guides the reader along the strip club’s meandering halls, each poem leading somewhere unexpected, somewhere inevitable, exploring loss and grief through the burlesque, through Emily Dickinson, through feminist text, through birdsong. The afterlife that she creates —original and evocative in its imagining —resolves itself into an elegy for Stone’s grandmother, Ruth, whose presence rings throughout the collection. The collection’s title is inspired in part by her grandmother’s poem, “The Möbius Strip of Grief,” and Stone explores the relationship between the generations of women in her family, turning her eye from grandmother, to daughter, to “the gentle climate of mothers.” Moments of joy and conflict are layered over one another in a palimpsest of grief. Stone’s verse is immediate and accessible —here, the dead are just beyond our fingertips, and grief’s a reason for gratitude.