Change (will do you good)
poems by Gail Rudd Entrekin
2005 Slim Volume Series Selection
Nominated for the Northern California Book Award
Published by Poetic Matrix Press
87 pages, price $15.00
"Change is a collection of poems with the timeline of a new people, a new
people who have a history only now being told and only now gaining a full account.
Steeped in the experience of the past decades - the change that a generation has
participated in - this work may be its first real look. Written in a natural voice,
that is crafted to perfection, with the twists and turns and wisdom that has taken
much of a life to distill and claiming, with a bit of melancholy, that it will do
you good, Gail's Change is a work of love both in its content and in its
"Never the same river twice, and life keeps moving on. These are the truths that
Change celebrates, mourns, puzzles over, and explores in language that
is so accurately beautiful, and so beautifully accurate, that it leaps off the page.
Once again, Gail Rudd Entrekin digs into reality, and comes up with glory."
— Alicia Ostriker, critic and poet, Dancing at the Devil's Party
"Change (will do you good) rocks on the salt sea of a woman's life, buoyed
by Gail Entrekin's deft images and clean lines. Children born, grown, and gone;
farewell song of an aging body; the tenderness and doubts of a marriage - everything's
awash in joy and sorrow, delivered without sentiment or apology by a writer whose
wisdom is earned and whose language is truly beautiful."
— Molly Fisk, poet, Terrain
"Using language luminous and precise, Gail Entrekin explores the essential elements:
love, sex, daughters and sons, aging, illness, fear and fury. And it is love —
of husband and children, of friends, and her dog, and a monumental one of words
— that holds this spell binding collection together. Pick it up. You won't
be able to put it down."
— Sands Hall, novelist, Catching Heaven
From Change (will do you good):
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after Cirque du Soleil
The wizard in the metallic green vest
silver shoes that curl at the toes
comes out pushing his marvelous machine
clearly assembled from spare parts
in multi-colors with rare horns and whistles.
His assistant, small and quick, rushes on,
a rubber chicken swinging from one fist,
in her other arm a huge puff of cotton candy.
The magician is pleased. He rubs his
hands together in elaborate eagerness
and together they climb up and feed
first the chicken, then the pink fluff,
into the blue bell of the magical machine.
The satisfied assistant hurries off stage
and the wizard thoughtfully turns the crank –
loud grinding noises, vague absent looks –
and then, suddenly, from chicken and spun sugar,
Not pain but a blushing,
a deep engine chugging in the delicate body,
smoldering out through the skin,
an internal sauna
so that tiny drops pop through
and gloss the face, the throat,
the soft, hidden sides under the dress
sodden with slippery wet
sliding down – the hot hair lifted,
drenched, from the neck.
Rude hormones, like bad tenants,
are having yet another good-bye party
before they move away forever,
stealing the silver candlesticks from my hope chest
and the poster of Ho Chi Minh.
Every night they wake me from my deep sleep,
my dreams of the river flowing backwards up the mountain
away from the greedy sea —
to a crashing on the stairs,
drunken shouts, stupid hilarity
around the bonfire on the lawn
where the old furnishings,
the beautiful things my parents gave me
when I first moved in,
piece by piece, night after night,
go up in flames.