Wednesday, October 7, 2009

God of Missed Connections Reviewed at the Mansfield Press

Click here for the whole review.

God of Missed Connections

God of Missed Connections

Reviewed by Spencer Gordon

God of Missed Connections
Elizabeth Bachinsky
Nightwoord Editions, 2009 
80 pages, $17.95


“History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” So says Stephen Dedalus, famously, in Joyce’s Ulysses. To the speaker of Elizabeth Bachinsky’s God of Missed Connections, history can indeed be nightmarish — the hard facts of torture and war and famine; the inability to solve or resolve its contradictions and cruelties. But history, both private and collective, can also be drenched in the sunlight of nostalgia — the happy illusion that things were, at some uncertain point in the past, better. So we dwell in old family photos, use our mothers’ handed-down recipes, stoop to smell our fathers’ coats. What else can we do? For Bachinsky, reminiscence is inevitable; “what was lost / returns,” she writes. We ceaselessly dwell and uncover, though that which we unearth can be both beautiful and horrific. As one poem states, “we can neither love [it], nor turn away.”