She was the golden girl and twenty. A year later she was dead, and by her own hand. The young woman's father called Louis with the news, he, a college friend. The next day she could not get out of bed, could not get dressed. Over the next months a tetraptych emerged. "She came skittering across the road like a water bird .... The sun behind her the paler star." Like being thrown off axis by a quake, Louis was derailed. She set aside her novel and turned to poetry.
A daughter must tell her mother she will die; a man at the height of his creative powers is killed in a freak accident; an American icon is painted in a chiaroscuro as uncompromising as a Rembrandt. The title poem steps back to explore the many ways in which we grieve, while Louis's meditation on her own mortality gives apt and inevitable conclusion. Candid, annealed with precision, these poems haunt and invite revisitation.
“With the roughened beauty of subverted and torqued form, Laura Glen Louis gives us her ‘jet jewels,’ this collection of elegies and laments. Hers is a music that flirts with and then—in stanza after stanza—bypasses tradition. In doing so, she proves her own prosodic dictum: ‘For honoring the dead there are no rules.’ Her only rule is that of an evocative, resonant line.”
— Paulann Petersen, Poet Laureate of Oregon and Author, A Bride of Wild Escape
"Laura Glen Louis approaches the topic of death fearlessly and with something akin to love. Whether friend or foe, death is ultimately the prism through which our lives are most clearly viewed. Some, like elephants is a book of tremendous nerve and beauty."
— Zoe FitzGerald Carter, Author, Imperfect Endings
“Of all places, it's through death's window that Louis brings her characters vividly to life—with humanity and mystery—using a blitz of techniques: ambiguities, gnomic allusions, oblique lines, syncopated rhythms, all sprinkled with everyday images and an occasional, gratifying burst into crisp, passionate lyrics.”
— Clive Matson, Author, Chalcedony’s Songs