I read Rebecca Loudon’s chapbook “Navigate, Amelia Earhart’s Letters Home” over the weekend. What I love about Loudon’s work is her odd-ball language and sort of pressured speech diction, her vivid imagery that is at once disjointed and coherent, and the way that she reaches into the muck with both hands, really digs down deep into the smelly, fertile soil and pulls up something that is part root and part jewel, a sort of ruby-encrusted turnipy kind of thing that she holds up to the moonlight and howls at.
She makes me uncomfortable. She makes my bones itch. She sets off bells deep in the vault of my skull.
In Navigate, Loudon channels the lost aviator’s last dispatches. If you remember Laurie Anderson’s piece Blue Lagoon you’ll have a feel for some small part of what’s going on. Now, Blue Lagoon is all about Melville, but there is a similar haunted, ethereal feel. Amelia comes to life as she makes her way toward something else, and we are privileged eavesdroppers on the process. We get to intercept these messages from her to those she is leaving behind and it is tender and strange and heartbreaking.
And, of course, I would assert that there is also much, much more going on here.
It is a rich journey to embark upon.