Sympathy Loophole by Jaime Forsythe
This is not your grandmother’s poetry. Filled to the brim with scenes that delight and disturb, Forsythe constantly surprises with an unforeseen twist or metaphor that is so strangely perfect that you have to reread and ruminate. In “Romance” she writes, “That year, we all had waitressing jobs/and stalkers./Sore teeth and short answers./Bruised hips and heavy pockets./Good deadbolts and lucid dreams.” Grounded firmly in local lore, Forsythe breathes life into one of Halifax’s most shameful memories, turning it over, showing us a different side to our expectations. Each poem fully immerses us in a world, scene, character, emotion or fantasy of her making---mowing the lawn in “Mother and Daughter,” the imagined life of a souvenir in “Shark in a Jar,” a house party gone awry in “Parachute”---taking seemingly simple things and cracking them open to reveal the beauty, ugliness or complications hidden beneath. A joy to experience, this book belongs dog-eared on your shelf.