Mary Kathryn Jablonski’s poems look ahead with desire and backward with nostalgia, grief, and regret. Their many futures and pasts confront a present emptied of everything but her beautiful, resourceful language and the fantasies it constructs. Sugar Maker Moon seeks unearthly fulfillment in earthly love, glimpsed in the seas of the moon and in places close as local trout streams and remote as distant nebulae. Reanimating memory, inventing husbands, Jablonski enlists us in a witty and difficult search for lasting joy. —Jay Rogoff
This book is a Tardis… composed of great echoing spaces and boxcars of images and passions that stretch off into the distance in all directions, clanging hollowly against each other with the weight of moonlit feathers. [Sugar Maker Moon] haunts in its powerful simplicity. When I read of the crow and dybbuk, I uneasily remember Ted Hughes (“Crow”) and Sylvia Plath (“Ariel”). They were not of this book, or perhaps they were. This poet is an intelligence and brightness within a verdant if uncaring landscape. —Jared Smith
JULY 2019 CHRONOGRAM MAGAZINE: Calls Sugar Maker Moon “scintillating” and “a deeply human read” – and lists it among the top 7 books for July reading along with Joyce Carol Oates’ new release. “In her debut poetry collection, Mary Kathryn Jablonski weaves a web of anticipations for the future, nostalgia for the past, and imaginative reflections on the present. With beautiful, haunting language, her poems bend time and place, jumping between pristine Vermont countrysides, mystical night skies, and the warren of her own psyche. Jablonski effortlessly shape shifts between visual and tactile worlds and powerfully expresses both simplicity and struggle in the search for lasting fulfillment. She captures life’s ambiguous and fickle nature with her similes, like the day that “rolls out like pie dough: shapeless, sticky, shrinking back on itself.” The remarkable honesty, hope, and heartbreak within these poems makes Sugar Maker Moon a deeply human read.
JULY 2019 MISFIT MAGAZINE: Editor Alan Catlin calls Sugar Maker Moon “a psychical world with a visionary overlay” (excerpt follows).
“The poems are metaphysical. The way the 17th century poets wrote metaphysics. Traherne looked into a lake and saw another world inside the reflective surface. Also sensed, imagined, the world hidden beneath. This poet projects and sees the heavens as Donne saw, Donne who said ‘dull sublunary lovers love.’ Jablonski loves with them. Sees what they saw. Inside and out.
The poet is a lodestar in the infirmity that makes dead reckoning possible. A locus that attracts, defines, impels. She is an earthbound moon controlling the tides. The actual and the unseen.
The poems are an abstract, fluid like a liquid moon but rooted in a place, inside all of us who dream, and who look beyond ourselves to imagine what might be there. She renders what Samuel R. Delaney, said was ‘the motion of light on water’, ‘the stars like grains of sand in my pocket’.
Once the reader feels as if he has found the heart of an image, the sense of moment, the poet shifts the focus and your sense slides away like quicksilver, mercury in motion, the Transit of Venus. What could be more wonderful? This creation of a psychical world with a visionary overlay that exceeds our casual view. This is what true Art does: creates a universe that unifies thoughts, and dreams, and what we know, what we think we know, in a new way. The Sugar Maker Moon is an infinite canvas upon which all things are possible.”