Downstairs Dance Floor.
By Taylor Graham (i.e., Judith Ann Taylor). Huntsville: Texas Review Press (dist by TAMU), 2006. Paperback 29 pages. ISBN 1-881515-94-X http://somersetsunset.net/
Winner of the 2005 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize
Taylor’s life is certainly sensitive to nature, given her compelling interest in birds and trails. But she’s sensitive the handful of family members whose lives and dreams and channeled to you via The Downstairs Dance Floor. This well published Californian’s connection comes via Texas Review’s broad vision of literary commitment. Graham focuses mostly on older persons here – mother, father, and stepfather. The vignettes are snapshots, overheard snippets of conversation, and emotional gestures playing in the slower eddies of life. Somewhere in California there is nightclub “Tonight at the Yellow Rose.” There amid the two-stepping boots and jeans where “Country love-songs catch / like fishhooks in the throat / you can’t pull back, not even / when you’re in love with someone / who isn’t anymore -- ….”