A Minute Without Danger

Agitation, determination, fierce confusion and a pitch-perfect sense of humor all interact chemically in Jacqueline Waters’ first book of poems. Waters is serious but never earnest. We sense the “scientist” behind these experiments, which are conducted with unflinching curiosity: “Nature is great: it forgot it was chaos.” The result of Waters’ rueful kindness in noting this (and kindness is an animating principle in this work) is the deep surprise that comes from being intensely awake and from paying close attention to “not just the creation of a pattern, / but an examination of the principles behind a pattern.”