Some Shimmer of You – REVIEW

Wow, this collection must be great, because it seems like everyone here at BrickHouse is buzzing about it! Below you’ll find yet another review of Marilyn McVicker’s Some Shimmer of You written by Laura Wallace, author of “The Hour Between Dog & Wolf.”

McVicker’s collection was a finalist for publication here at BrickHouse Books, but ended up being the one that got away. Clearly, that loss was on us. Please enjoy this lovely review, and consider grabbing your own copy of this lovely collection.

––Kate, BhB Online Editor


McVickers lost her daughters in the 1980’s to the remorseless homophobia of the law and a vindictive ex. Forced to submit to the gavel, she pressed her pain into poems about the limitlessness of love and grief. There is no numbness here. Her children are everywhere in their absence, as is the physicality of memory: “In the dark, their scents were how I told them apart.” A child’s voice whispers from a letter: “I promise not to change much before you see me again, I don’t want you to miss anything.”

The law is a cold knife a lawyer wields: “He wants the names of every friend, every lesbian you know…” Terror rises in daytime and in dreams: “I have been digging for days, fingers raw and frozen.” These poems insist, press, erupt in pent-up lists of stillborn gestures, anguished tenderness. Only in “Order of the Court” does cellular keening rise to rage: “SOLE custody? Custody of their SOULS?”

Seasons wear on. Eventually the poet finds healing, if not acceptance, in a garden, tending plants a child would love: “new sunflowers atop their gawky stalks, baby pumpkins clinging to their hairy umbilicals.” No parent who has been unfairly parted from a child, no child who has been so sundered, and no person who feels this bond will be unaffected by this collection.

–Laura Wallace, author of “The Hour Between Dog & Wolf”, New Poets Series

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