On reading Randi Ward’s "Whipstitches"

“A 'whipstitch' can be a stitch for sewing two pieces of material together. A moment in time. something that happens at regular intervals. Or a suturing stitch for closing a wound. An experience, can become the wound and the stitch— again and again and again— ”
          —Randi Ward


We tend to expect a lot of pretense from poetry: fancy language that makes for unreadable lines. Pieces of writing so pseudo-intellectual or obtuse that they can only be qualified as Machiavellian ploys to satisfy the author’s ego. A poem is a shared moment between author and reader.  

Randi Ward’s Whipstitches (MadHat Press, 2016) is a book of very short poems, modestly descriptive, single stanza poems. The harmony of the spacing of the book creates an even pacing for the poems, a sweet balance; they resemble black and white photographs, glimpses into moments, and they share a discrete and discreet intimacy into a West Virginia family’s farm life. The images the poems take on the qualities of a metaphoric ecology, and the world we are invited into becomes a sad dream, and just like a dream, everything merges into one, the language, culture, characters and history of the place. It’s like a glimpse into a family album, as sad, as pleasant, as intimate. See this poem from page 41:


“It’s all in your head,”
mock the fleas
crowding around
brimming sores
I’ve dug
raw for another



Darryl / Dadou / Baron Wawa

Darryl / Dadou / Baron Wawa is a Port-au-Prince born Haitian-American who studied Photography and Creative Writing. He enjoys chocolate and good books. That said, maybe a movie is a good book. He loves to work with images and words and their pairing.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 10:37