E-Review of Mariano Zaro’s – The House of Mae Rim

  • Review Published by Rattle, June 2010
  • Mariano Zaro is like a master calligrapher. Everything his pen touches breathes, twirls and soars, becoming little glow-worms of words that stay with you long after you have stopped seeing them, like a well kept secret. They go deep. They are not easily erasable. They are written with permanent ink.

    As in “At the Door,” for instance, one of my favorite poems and a perfect opening for the collection:

    1.
    At the door
    a still shadow
    the size of a coin.
    I don’t know if it’s
    a leaf
    or an insect.
    Suddenly
    it opens its antennae.
    Maybe that’s why
    I came here—
    to remember
    astonishment.

    Ante la puerta
    un bulto quieto
    del tamaño de una moneda.
    No sé si es
    una hoja
    o un insecto.
    De repente
    extiende las antenas.
    Quizá para eso
    vine hasta aquí,
    para recordar
    el asombro.

    Astonishment prevails in Mariano Zaro’s poetry. Once our eyes are opened and our pupils dilated by the insect’s antennae we are ready to explore the world with a microscope, or better still, we become the insect itself. For on certain instances it is easy to get the impression while reading this book that one has become one of those little creatures; all of a sudden we are observing and touching the world with the same delicacy and vulnerability and tininess as them. A poetic version of Gregor Samsa, I suppose, only slightly less terrifying (and more aesthetically pleasant, for Mariano Zaro’s insects are no cockroaches. They are slim crickets, sensuous butterflies, gracious worms and musty frogs!).(…)

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