Reviews - SUNBATHING ON
TYRONE POWER'S GRAVE
"Sunbathing on Tyrone Power's Grave
by Kim Dower brims with the vitality and preoccupations of everyday living. Life
and death are inextricably entwined in Dower's poetry: the distinct grief of
losing a parent, bidding farewell to a pet, but also the joys of naming a puppy
and the pleasure of using a favorite fountain pen.
While the death of her father hovers over Dower's fourth collection, the focus
is on remembering the good times and celebrating the small victories that add up
to a productive day. From the comic irony of a grocery store clerk commenting on
her "beautiful aura" to the keen sense of accomplishment when successfully
parallel parking her car, Dower pays tribute to the power of mundane everyday
activities to spark happiness and wonder.
Dower's wicked sense of humor fuels poems about alternative facts, the
indignities of air travel and the misunderstood color pink. Pockets of anxiety
open up here and there, with lingering concerns over mental decline. In "Letters
to My Son," as profound a piece as anything Dower has ever written, she admits
to a primal fear of losing her mind to dementia.
An L.A. transplant from the East Coast, Dower was named City Poet of West
Hollywood, Calif., in 2016 and held the post until 2018. The title poem features
Dower's father's favorite actor, Tyrone Power, a swashbuckling American icon
from the '40s. The cemetery where he is buried among other Hollywood royalty is
a place of celebration, awash in sunshine, memories of great movies and "angels
in bikinis smoking KOOL Lights."
--Shahina Piyarali, writer and reviewer - Shelf
turns exuberant, sexy and sobering, Kim Dower’s remarkable poems are known for
their extraordinary range. This fourth collection finds her at the top of her
game. Attuned to the oddness of the quotidian and grounding the metaphysical in
the sharp sensations of daily life, the poems in Tyrone Power’s Grave invite us
to live as fully and generously as the poet herself.”
--Chris Kraus, bestselling author of I LOVE DICK”
“Kim Dower’s poems speak not of the highs and lows, but about the grey space
between tragedy and tenderness, memory and loss, fragility and perseverance—that
space where the soul and the truest self live.”
--Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet
Kim Dower’s poetry has a way of transforming everyday life into something
luminous and unexpected. Simultaneously accessible and complex, whimsical and
heartbreaking, Dower’s poetry shines with subtle irony and playful imagination,
written in a way that is empathetic and relatable, as well as full of wisdom.
Something about Kim Dower’s poetry always seems trustworthy.