Esser’s poetry chapbook, too short at just 28 pages, is a marvel. From the first poem to the last, Esser has a gift of gently and surgically choosing words, images and form to make meaning and sometimes humor out of her observations of the world. Highlights include the prose poem, “The Apple,” “Exile / Paradise,” “Rules for Picking Blueberries,” and, perhaps this is a predictable selection, the title poem, “I Have Always Wanted Lightning” (I finally notice one day / that I’m standing ankle-deep / in the wetness of my life).
My only complaint? There is no CD that accompanies the book. If you ever have a chance to hear Esser read her work, you have to do it.