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Di Piero, W.S. Skirts and slacks; poems.

Random House, Knopf. 66p. c2001.0-375-709428. $15.00. SA

Di Piero's seventh volume of poetry centers on a sense of mystery, the confusion of confronting uncertainty in precise and specific terms. He warns us against the simplistic and obvious: "All life I is hidden life. Don't believe / everything you hear." And he questions. "what certainty / in the body at its end?/And between here and there?" His diction is direct and clear and his poems are filled with concrete details that ring true and familiar, "green clabber I scumming puddles alongside the train, / then brickyards banked on body shops, / homeless trackside nappers under trees,/ ditchwater where shopping carts come to drink..." Yet Di Piero himself is always wary, slightly skeptical of the material world, consistently being pulled toward some "uncertainty where/I feel most at home...."

In a humble and honest way Di Piero avoids resorting to easy answers. Even in the writing that helps give his concepts form, he is resigned to perplexity. For himself he says, "Take away whatever you want,/but deliver me to derangements/of sweet, ordered, derelict words." For the rest of us he offers hope for some "heaven that falls and fits/ this earth. These house rows, backyards, / the dog paths worn into the grass,/the sandbox and its twisting swings/empty where the children were just now/before they ran behind the kites,/running from us and our feeble facts..."

This collection, like Di Piero himself and the rest of us, "take[s] what's given and work[s]/with that. The rest is grace." James Beschta, Barre, MA
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Author:Beschta, James
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2003
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