The honesty of Chickenhawks & Goldilocks washes in like a wild tide on grief’s jagged shoreline, embracing the confusion and complexity that accompanies losing a loved one to suicide. Instead of a one-note lament, this chapbook recognizes confusion and examines how that confusion can make a person and a relationship seem improved through absence. Chickenhawks & Goldilocks reveals how a love can fill in our cracks and seams and make us feel whole. By juxtaposing poems that acknowledge this feeling with poems that delve into flawed relationships and the abandonment the speaker cannot help but feel, Vild portrays a more complete grief. Thoughts and feelings are intertwined, wrapped in each other such that they cannot be separated. Here betrayal, love, rage, anguish, and guilt all bleed toward each other, trapped in the cage of our chests.
“Chickenhawks & Goldilocks adroitly renders the liminal experience of grief with notes of tender specificity dovetailing expressive and purposeful abstraction—each poem is a shout against the silence absence carves into our lives. But make no mistake, Grey Vild doesn’t wallow in these poems, nor allow us to do so. Here we, poet and reader, overcome the loss that would have us lose ourselves—a loss all too present for those in and aside the trans community—and find resolve to carry forward in the beautiful project of living, to make the choice every day while still honoring those who felt they couldn’t, hiding nothing about how difficult, at times, the living is and will be.”
-Cortney Lamar Charleston