Slippery Surfaces

Finishing Line Press

With a clarity that is often unnervingly wry, Donna Spruijt-Metz examines a personal history that gets more complex as each poem unfolds, speaking to the incongruities that shadow a life.  What our parents tell us, what we tell each other, and what we know about ourselves and each other—Slippery Surfaces deftly brings narrative situation and lyric song into coalescence.  Spruijt-Metz’s ultimate subject is memory itself, which she movingly describes in its various guises—as lens, as veil, as mirror.

                                                                          – Rick Barot

“Daughter and Mother, Amsterdam, Tram 4” alone is worth the cover price of Donna Spruijt-Metz’s new collection. This series of conversation poems between a mother and daughter deftly and quietly devastates. In Slippery Surfaces, Spruijt-Metz explores not only the slipperiness and elusiveness of the self but of the narratives we carry with us, from childhood to adulthood, from daughterhood to motherhood. These are poems that know and teach, poems that begin in observation but move inward, poems that help us feel more human.

                                                                    – Maggie Smith

This is how a story comes to you: out of order, incomplete, and then, sailing through Amsterdam in a streetcar, suddenly you know how your father died and why, in your childhood home, secrets glittered everywhere -- why 'there was ice / in crystal tumblers.' Spruijt-Metz spreads its chill over this unflinching collection.

                                                                  – Sarah Manguso

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