Whiteness of Bone
Hope and peace is pitted against relentless oppression and death in Gloria Mindock's Whiteness of Bone. Mindock gathers the eye witness accounts of the voiceless, the unheard, and crafts a voice in their stead. From El Salvador to Rwanda, Darfur to the Congo, mass graves and war crimes deafen and suffocate. Genocide is a quagmire of ruthless animal instinct, senseless violence, rape and torture, massacre and slaughter. When such darkness goes ignored, the gaping maw of the abyss grows ever larger still. Victims of war escape only to be confronted by the merciless apathy of the world. Survival is an exercise in learned helplessness. Mere existence is not living. The gutted and the mute fall silent. Yet what can poetry do? It is language when there are no adequate words. It is urgency, immediacy, and testimony. It is how compassion and empathy can pour themselves into the confines of silence and fill it up instead. When there is simply no explanation left for catastrophe and horror, it is poetry that can capture and cradle the souls of those decaying in fields of white bone.