Two Places by Lenore Weiss is a short book of poems honoring the four directions of our lives that we experience even when we are in a fixed spot. Weiss’ mind travels like the speed of light from the real, to the symbolic and the surreal. Her poems travel north and south, east and west, taking us to New York, Oakland, Louisiana, Istanbul today and Mongolia centuries ago. Throughout the journey she focuses on love: love of parents, lost and remembered; love of children near and far, and the separation from and unity with the lover and the deep desire for peace between Israel and Palestine.
In her poem “Manduhai Across The Router,” Weiss leads us from the electronic to the sensuous,
I emailed memories
scented in lavender, rosemary
and the back of your neck.
In her poem “Double Take” she plays with language audaciously.
A chocolate bar tattooed on his chest comes á la carte.
A computer is the first place to look for the Holocaust.
Juxtaposing á-la-carte and ho-lo-caust, she uses these two unlikely objects that have the same rhythm and similar sound to create a small shock, just like a double take. “Two Places” is a poetic journey and a very intense emotional, and enjoyable read.