In his latest collection, We Almost Disappear, David Bottoms expresses stoic tenderness toward the passing of our human lives.
The poems focus on the speaker’s memories of childhood and family, with many of the poems lingering on the narrator’s relationship with his father, his “old man.”
Toward the end of the book we see the declining father shuffling on his walker against a backdrop of the Chattahoochee hill country, while the speaker contemplates the under currents running through existence.
This collection narrates life with a reverential tone punctuated with the concrete imagery of everyday reality: a rusted truck, afternoon traffic, a telephone that “shrieks in the middle of the night.”
The tender attention to the details of light and objects reminds me of a Vermeer painting.
The poems are shorter in length–only two are longer than a page. The verses lilt across the page in long lines that are often dropped or indented, inviting the reader to pause and savor the images and feelings.
What will stay with me for a long while is the strong sense of abiding love that emanates from these poems–a cherishing of family, nature, words and even dreams.
This love reveals itself through the inner monologues of an introspective soul who does not take himself too seriously.