Frontenac House - May 08, 2006 - 0 Comments


Re:Zoom by Sheri-D Wilson

Reviewed by Marissa Ranello

Re:Zoom  is a highly readable journey into a cultural labyrinth. Sheri-d Wilson does not blanch from crossing the imaginary line between Canada and the United States. Her poems are both as American as apple pie and as Canadian as Alberta beef.

In “Viva Las Vegas” Sheri-d writes:

What do you do when Uncle Sam wants you?
What do you do when the steaks are high?


The ingredients of a North American fete: Wilson cooks up a splendid dish of urgency and folly and adds a dash of danger for extra flavor. Recklessness and absurdity are the writer’s home-grown ammunition. An example of this can be found in “Re:volver Religion” which begins:

You are wearing a bandoleer
of bullets
     it is after 911
     you have carried
the bandoleer of bullets
     across the border
     from Canada into the USA
no problem
     they confiscated your
     nose hair clippers
     but overlooked the round of bullets
entrenched in your suitcase.


Each word penetrates, as each bullet will the victim. Naturally, in a democratic society, there’s a blur between human action, law and religion. Wilson successfully clarifies that distortion by sharpening her focus on alarming current events. She becomes the lens of a camera as she homes in on a quixotic world filled with cryptic people. This technique tantalizes the voyeur within all of us.

Re:Zoom is a feminine playground of poems that pulls at your heart and mind. Sheri-d Wilson’s world is one which embraces displacement, darkness, and domineering truth. This can be seen in lines of “Re:panty portal” which begins:

I stand over your grave
open my legs,
show you my panties.


The depravity is awesome and curious. Her words are invigorating to the love-starved dame and the undersexed masochist alike. Wilson utilizes a harmonious marriage of Anglophone and Francophone throughout her poems. This too can be seen in “Re:panty portal” when she pleads with the deceased lover, “mange toi.”

Although there’s a strong commitment to being multi-voiced, Wilson’s poems valorize the importance of history and the roles that women assumed throughout it. In addition, this collection seems like a self-exploration of her own roles as a daughter, granddaughter, lover, and wife. The discourse is perplexing. A strong voice radiates from the ‘softer sex’ in lines like those from “Re:quest of a alpha bet eristic un-”:

I’d rather be your whore
than your wife


Wilson favorably transforms the language of text into a universal tongue that lashes out at xenophobia.  Her creativity and use of sounds and imagery celebrate authenticity. This collection convenes a considerable range of activity and rejoices in the truth.

Marissa Ranello currently resides in Saskatchewan with her family. Her poetry has appeared in:  Ultraviolet Magazine, Cross Connect (University of Pennsylvania), In The Fray, Grimm Magazine, Dead Drunk Dublin, East Village Poetry, Unlikely Stories, Niederngasse, Comrades, Naked Poetry, Verse Libre Quarterly, and Thunder Sandwich.

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