First published in the “Briefly Reviewed” section of Frogpond 39:3, Autumn 2016, pages 122–123.
Between Waves by Alexis Rotella (2015, Red Moon Press, Winchester, Virginia). 56 pages, 4¼×6½ inches, perfectbound. ISBN 978-1-936848-37-9. $12.00 from Red Moon Press.
Alexis Rotella’s haiku and senryu often have a psychological edge to them, as in “The secret told— / the house now / light and airy,” “Sunday afternoon / no mother / to call,” or “A tiny wave / to the gardener / I fired.” She also welcomes playful lightness and humour, as in “Fallen tree / a bridge / for squirrels” and “Hospital gown / with tiny blue flowers— / Oscar de la Venta.” Yet she can be serious or momentarily transcendent, as in “Over a destroyer / stars / keeping watch” and “Butterfly / finds me / in the woods.” She’s lost the periods that she used to end her poems with, but has retained her usual starting capital. Alexis Rotella has had a long career in haiku, and this book is the latest evidence of her ongoing creativity.