SUB­TEXTS

Avian wa­ters

Pasatiempo - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Deena Met­zger is a writer, ac­tivist, and healer in the 1960s rad­i­cal and 1970s in­tel­lec­tual fem­i­nist tra­di­tions. Since child­hood, her po­etry has been deeply rooted in the nat­u­ral world and the body. In her for­ties, she un­der­went a mas­tec­tomy for breast can­cer and soon wrote her first book on the sub­ject, Tree, which was in­cluded in The Woman Who Slept With Men to Take the War Out of Them (Peace Press, 1981). Met­zger reads from and signs copies of her lat­est novel, A Rain of Night Birds (Hand to Hand Pub­lish­ing) at 4 p.m. on Satur­day, July 29, at the Ark (133 Romero St., 505-988-3709).

In Night Birds, Met­zger shines as an eco­log­i­cally minded poet through her pro­tag­o­nist, San­dra Birdswell, a cli­ma­tol­ogy stu­dent with the abil­ity to sense up­com­ing weather events. Her path crosses with that of Ter­rance, a Na­tive Amer­i­can cli­ma­tol­ogy pro­fes­sor, when she is in col­lege — and then again af­ter the United Na­tions re­leases its 2007 re­port on cli­mate change. Met­zger’s prose is lush with mu­sic and pas­sion­ate in its mo­men­tum. “Two peo­ple hur­tled down a dark high­way, pass­ing through im­per­sonal clus­ters of stores and malls that pass for hu­man set­tle­ments and which stop abruptly be­fore in­ter­mit­tent or­chards, vine­yards, and dry fields,” she writes. “Red­wood forests had been dec­i­mated to build towns. There was no logic for the ter­rain ex­cept for hu­man will­ful­ness. The dark was pro­tec­tive, al­low­ing only the sen­sa­tion of land­scape, of generic trees and long shal­low curves of ob­scured hills lead­ing to moun­tains. Lights sped to­ward them and passed beyond. Strange lights that eclipsed the stars. The punc­tured moon fell down and fur­ther down.” For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.ark­books.com. — Jen­nifer Levin

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