THOUSANDS, BY LIGHTSEY DARST
Reading Lightsey Darst’s third book of poems, Thousands, is not unlike devling into a diary. In dividing her poems into five sections, each demarcated by date and place, Darst creates for her readers the feeling of well-crafted journal entries, not only in form but in content. As the book progresses, we see the advancement of a finely-wrought emotional trajectory peppered with a menagerie of modern content: books and articles the speaker plans to read, quotes she overhears in coffee shops.
The subject matter of the poems spans everything from unfulfilling employment to sex and relationships; from moving across the country to current events. With entries that vary in their poignant beginnings (“Dear Bernadette,” “dear spirit,” “ Dear why and dearer winter, /dear how and dearer hour,”) the author addresses and readdresses issues that feel extremely personal and confessional, yet also uniquely universal. As they carve their way through this markedly contemporary landscape, Darst’s readers will likely have trouble separating the dreams, desires, and fears the speaker expresses from their own—the text of these poems is everything you might catch yourself thinking, and everything you might hope someone else could share with you.