The Possibilities of Mud


The Possibilities of Mud roots down in the Texas Gulf. In league with the deer of the arroyos and the heron like the pelican and the dunlin, Jiménez makes stays of the other Gulf animals of the mud-flat world, holds, in a time of grief. The cattle egret is a golden life as much as she is white— each creature: a lesson in how to let the world be enough. For Jiménez, as sanderling is to speaker, crane is to reader. These poems touch the world not to take from it but to know it, to belong to it more fully. There is the long song of grief, and there’s praise, too. At once in mourning and in worship, he’s said his beloved is the larger body of the world, where we hear Mary Oliver, and in his narrative movements, there is Mark Doty. As Jiménez renders the violent end to a long relationship, he makes notations for a praise song, prayers toward how to go on.