The mind, wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins, has "cliffs of fall" that are "no-man-fathomed," suggesting a jagged, dangerous terrain with unexpected and potentially lethal gulfs. Sometimes, as in Jill Rosser's new collection of poetry, it's a comic, irritable gesture that recalls the abyss a footstep away:
Every time I'm reminded of the actor
who willed his own skull to repertory
for use as that of poor Yorick
in stagings of Hamlet, I wince to think
I forgot his name. Was it Cooke?
Cooke I decide, and
doubt sets in. So the thought I always
nearly have about this morbid legacy
never fully shapes itself. I've almost
had this thought at least a hundred times.