Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review of Katherine Hastings' Cloud Fire/ 3 More Coletti Poems/James Joyce Reading "Finnegan's Wake"/

 Katherine Hastings' Cloud Fire (reviewed by Ed Coletti)

Katherine Hastings’  curiously named publisher, Spuyten Duyvil in New York City, actually provides me an apt leaping off point for her incredible achievement Cloud Fire.
 
“Spuyten Duyvil” derives from the New York Dutch and their “spewing devil” where “spui” and “spuit” involve the gushing forth of water.  However, while we have so much of water here, it is the fog-shrouded California Pacific, much better painted by a gentle sorcerer stirring rather than a fearsome devil spewing—less gushing, more being.  

Still, lest I forget, the book’s title contains both clouds and fire,

My city whose hair is a cloud fire

This theme of “hair” continues into the poem “Lonadier Rampant.  A poet “too near the bridge,” does jump, and Hastings, after painting Lynn Lonadier  crash from a cliff into the sea, then has her beloved San Francisco sing a final lullaby,

Lonadier  Your hair/Will be the last of you/To hit the sea/The city that saved you again and again/Rising swiftly/To still you/To sleep.

It is the City-By-The-Bay, shrouded and elevated by fog that provides Katherine Hastings (also the painter of her book’s cover) her magical palette.  She becomes the Whitman of clouds, singing of clouds

Fog-mantle on the breast of meadow/where voices from the emerald womb—feathered throats and bud bloom—sing through

I don’t employ the word “masterpiece” frequently, and never casually.  However, in the case of Hastings long opening poem, “Clouds,” I have no choice.  In it, I feel the spirit and depth of Hart Crane’s “Bridge”

How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest/The seagull's wings shall dip and pivot him,/Shedding white rings of tumult, building high/Over the chained bay waters Liberty—

And  Hastings on “flight,”

We do this like children or angels living/on the ledges of waves and lips, downy/wings so white they hum every color./Bees rolling in a white rose.

Cloud Fire works best read in one sweeping panorama from front to back.  Hastings begins in clouds, opens into complex life experiences and wraps up in a final poem also title “Clouds”  where, “In fog you are everywhere/and nowhere.”  Amidst the clouds and between them, the book exposes both the grime and glimmer of earth below as in this from “ O’Sidhe of Greenwich Street,”

...With one hand she catches a dove,/breathes it back to flight, with the other/turns the sizzling knob.

Were I to give you my reader only one bit of advice today, it would be to buy this book now.  Then take it home and read it through from beginning to end, and over and over.  It’s that good!


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3 More Ed Coletti Poems

A Trio of Triolets (tree-oh-lays)

Figuring that probably 95% of serious poets writing today eschew traditional poetic forms for free verse, I surmise that the poets who do at least occasionally try formal verse paradoxically could be termed today's "rebels."

I liken the "restriction" of such forms to swaddling a baby. The resulting security is a benefit.  "Restricting" myself to a poetic vessel seems to free the soul to pour its contents into the container in a way that is different from an uncontained beginning.  I've chosen the triolet which issues from 13th century France, is similar to the rondeau, was briefly popularized by Robert Bridges at the turn of the 20th century, and which can lend itself nicely to humor.


Triolet On Time

"For boys add to their woe by sitting still"
Was the best line of my youthful poem.
Now age and illness ask again why will
Such boys add to their woe by sitting still?
You’d think of this they’d had their awful fill
And, dreaming dreams of life they’d finally sow them.
"For boys add to their woe by sitting still"
Was the best line of my youthful poem.


Published at The New Formalist  September 2012

Triolet Of The Critical Loser

“Stick to painting, I don’t like your poems,”
Averred Cowboy Bob who I’d beaten in chess.
Perhaps he feared lofty emotions,
“Stick to painting, I don’t like your poems,”
More difficult work beyond his knowing.
Give him Kipling, McKuen, Edgar Guest,
“Stick to painting, I don’t like your poems,”
Averred Cowboy Bob who I’d beaten in chess.

Triolet From A Line By Eric Clapton

My darling you look wonderful tonight.
Your short silver hair, shining opal eyes,
When I see you smiling everything feels right.
My darling you look wonderful tonight.
Thought of your passing’s a terrible fright,
Loss of part of me, joy and wisdom dies.
My darling you look wonderful tonight.
Your short silver hair, shining opal eyes.

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James Joyce Reading Anna Livia Plurabelle Section from Finnegan's Wake

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

2 Ed Coletti Poems/Of Podiums/Norman Ball "Being Difficult"/Tribute to Lilliput Review/Norman Ball Being Difficult/

Poets. How often do you feel this way?










2 Ed Coletti Poems


The Oblong Root
for Adelaide O’Connor Ehret

Going deaf, neither she
nor her hearing daughter
recognize the assertive
unconscious voice
exchanging “Pablo Neruda”
for “oblong root” or perhaps
for the  medulla oblongata
center of so much involuntary
assertiveness, her very breathing,
the beating of her great heart,
that fountain enabling her daughter,
these words that must mean
something greater than their sounds.

When it comes to shapes oblong,
poets prefer oval over rhomboid.
Because both lampreys and hagfish
possess a fully developed medulla
oblongata, half a billion years of
evolution formed this mother-wisdom
this connection between a great poet
and that most essential ancient
ancestor of her own brain
eventually bestowing the gift
of words on her daughter
who told mother that she’d won 
a prize now confused with an oblong root.

This sound the mother hazily heard
might have been the swishing of
a weed growing in dry rocky
pasture land outside Stoneham
near the marble quarry
or vibration off a German yellow sugar beet.
The very pith of plants also referred to
as their “medulla”  Yet mathematicians       
know the oblong root as an algebraic square.
All such fugues episodically
musically create all richness
all story all myth all family.
Even entire geographies as they exist
for midwestern endodontists who
in 2012 AD estimated
the typical cost of a root canal
in Oblong, Illinois to be
nineteen hundred-thirty-four dollars.

But, in terms of preference,
when it comes to oblong  contours
almost all poets and loving mothers
choosing the egg-shape over rhombus,
realize how one thing always leads to another,
even and perhaps especially,                    this.


loosening its hold on the clowns

yes it’s gone gone gone
gone gone away.
— Allen Ginsberg

such presentation as clowns make
ejecting from their tiny cars
like so many spermatazoan pilots
beating each other with
styrofoam clubs,
punches and judies
posed ponderous
play at love and pain
yesterday and today
lament their passing
enjoy their farcical pageantry
relate to Emmett Kelly’s tears
open hearts to take a whack
at each decade each life,
and it was as it happened
but memory’s perspective
gives moments their due
in such a big top’s
insanely frightful review.

(Published in Spillway June 2012)

  
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"Being Difficult" Selections from the Essay on Poetic Obscurity and Other Good Stuff by Norman Ball (see biography by pressing the "full article" link just below.


 These selections are from the full article which previously appeared in Rattle.

"The message to poets is, beware the kindness of strangers.  Those who would rescue a poem from 'incomprehensibility' may actually be advancing death-by explication.  Poetic logic is its own animal existing outside the bounds of relatable (i.e. conversational) understanding.  I'm guilty of offering dubious assistance in some of your prior efforts.  But I find myself developing a comfort level with your opacity...For me, part of the fascination of your poetry lies in  its willful inaccessiblity.  I'm convinced you've constructed more here than a good game of hide-and seek..."

"For too many readers, difficulty is a tiresome abomination, a code to be cracked.  They want their literary merit fed to them in bite-sized morsels."

"The Internet, for all its salutary effects on artistic collaboration and community, beckons with an immediacy that can be the undoing of careful composition.  In the penchant for immediacy, difficulty suffers...the technology itself tempts at rushing a poem out there before its time." 


" 'The Wasteland' gives up nothing over bagels and coffee.  Lovers rarely discuss it in bed.  Yet it feels like a poem, filling us with the overwhelming sense we are experiencing something.  There is no paragraphed synopsis to render this experience.  This is as it should be."


Now, enjoy the full article
 

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Just 3 Reasons Why I Love  Lilliput Review and 
Why Everyone Should Subscribe

standing ovation
for the penniless poet:
a short walk to their cars


Mike Dillon
Indianola, WA 


While you were onstage reading another poem

A man carrying a garbage bag in the rain
performed the stations of the cross
and moved his lips in silent prayer.



Kyle Vaughn
Dallas, TX


Advice to the Aspiring Artist

Maintain a
distance.


Maintain a
great distance.


Run for
the hills.



John Bennett
Ellensburg, WA


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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Serfs of Psychiatry/Who To Impress/Vera Pavlova/


Review:  Serfs of Psychiatry (Finishing Line Press 2012) by Gil Fagiani

Of course, Gil Fagiani’s chapbook Serfs of Psychiatry (Finishing Line Press 2012) reminds me of Vilma Ginzberg’s Snake Pit which I published over my Round Barn Press imprint during 2010.  Each covers the terrors abundant in mental asylums.  Both institutions are located in the State of New York.  Each lays out the horrific scene.  However, Ginzberg is more therapeutic in her approach.  Fagiani simply puts the Inferno right in your face, as in the vernacular of simply “making it real.” 

The differences are those of time and place.  Vilma came 20 years before Gil. Conditions, back then, while certainly horrendous enough, pale in comparison to what they’ve become.  Ginzberg’s institution may be viewed as a harbinger of Fagiani’s.  As to place, she was “upstate” in Rockland State Hospital while he labored down the City in Bronx State Hospital.

When, 10 years after he’d worked there, Fagiani visited “the asylum” he found in “The Geometry of Misery,”  that “All the people were the same.//There was the dwarf/with the non-stop laugh/who drank coffee all day/and raced around/who is without legs now/and sits slumped in a wheelchair.”

In a powerful prose poem he recalls “Marty” who “...had big breasts and/bitty balls and would pop his cork by laying on his belly/and kicking himself in the butt with the back of his feet.” and who would say “ ‘sweet juice’ and smile sometimes after  he/washed down his meds with an extra cup of cherry/Kool-Aid.  Otherwise the only sound that would come/out of his mouth was something that sounded like/ ‘ah-coo-cha-la’ which one nurse said was shim talk for/ ‘I’ll cut your head off.’  ‘Ah-coo-cha-la’ was Marty’s/ war cry...”

Fagiani also pays deep attention to staff members working and retired like Miss Hunter, found dead, "her stroke-stiffened head/purple as an eggplant."  The story of her life is discovered in her possessions, evidence plenty enough to inspire a novelist  and tenderly cataloged  by the poet include "a framed certificate of appreciation/signed by the governor,/a large print bible/an electric broiler/two auburn hair extensions,/a wig cleaning kit,/a chrome cocktail shaker,/two packs of Gypsy Good Time/playing cards,/and a book on how to interpret dreams/for love and money."

This is gritty and nicely-crafted work culminates in a complex poem about paranoia and suicidal ideations ironically titled "My Wife Accused Me of Having Another Woman."  Throughout Serfs of Psychiatry, Gil Fagiani never goes out of his way to spare himself.  Highly recommended. Go to Finishing Line Press to order.

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Ultimately,
the person who
you most need to impress
with the quality of your work
is yourself. 

                        — Ed Coletti 

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15 Aphorisms from Vera Pavlova's  
Heaven Is Not Verbose: A Notebook
(for full text, go to Poetry (April 2012)

  • Inspiration: when I have confidence in myself.
  • Pick a piece of wood floating in the river and follow it down the current with your glance, keeping the eyes constantly on it, without getting ahead of the current.  This is the way poetry should be read: at the pace of a line. 
  • How do I feel about people who do not understand my poetry?  I understand them.
  • Being well-known means knowing almost nothing as to who knows you and what they might know about you.
  • Poetry begins when not only the reader but also the author starts wondering whether it is poetry.
  • I write to equalize the pressure from without and from within, to prevent being squashed (by misery) or being blown apart ( by happiness).
  • - Do you understand that understanding is impossible?                                                              - I do. 
  • By giving my books as presents, I mark my territory.
  • Stravinsky: "I like writing music more than I like music."
  • A fisherman told me: "Writing poetry must be like digging for earthworms: you grab the critter by the end and pull.  Pull too hard, and it'll break/ not hard enough, it'll get away."
  • From a letter of a young poet: "I write when I feel bad. When I feel fine, I don't write."  With me, it's the opposite: when I write, I feel fine. I feel bad when I do not write.
  • An ideal poem: every line of it can serve as a title for a book.
  • Reader: Do you want me to recognize my everyday world in your poems?                            Poet: No, I want your world to seem unfamiliar to you, once you take your eyes off the text.
  • When a true poet dies, we realize that all his poems were about death.
  • Reader: Yevtushenko claims that in Russia a poet is something more than just a poet.  Is that true?                                                                                                                                 Poet: No, nothing can be more than a poet.                                                                                  
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Monday, April 09, 2012

Bennett On Corso/Rothenberg On KickStart/Vonnegut On Schoolbook Censorship/

Thanks to terrific Don Wentworth, editor of the Lilliput Review for the following from poet John Bennett on Issa's Untidy Hut

Rainy Day Rag Man
John Bennett

(for Gregory Corso 1930 - 2001)

He's barking at the moon. He's barking up the wrong tree. He's tangled up in blue. He's shoplifting dialects and dangling them with hangman's rope from his crash-pad ceiling. On come the black lights, the strobe lights, the bright lights, the stage lights--let there be light! he cries out, naked as a blue jay and flat-out on the shag rug, throwing darts at the ceiling.

He's seen rumors flying like wounded bats and false evidence stuck like gum to his shoe soles. He's seen dreams go up in smoke, grave conclusions dumped in body bags from hot-air balloons, fist-sized monkeys nailed to fence posts. He's grown gun-shy of false promise, mauled hope, pontifications and the fine-print of love. His soul is like an ironclad Merrimack sending volleys over the bow of a Nantucket schooner. The Lie is self--perpetrating, the dark stain is everywhere.

He's a rainy day rag man with a push-cart mind, a midnight tailor in the attic stitching pockets shut. He's the mutant love child of our unabashed sham.

He's the weather vane that tells how the wind blows, the dimpled vulva of the wicked queen, the death throe of our whacked self-importance as we prance around like wind-up toys with our chests puffed out. He's the last train to Brooklyn, the last prophet before Humpty-Dumpty takes the dive.

He has other names too if you're interested, but of course you're not, this being Sunday, a time for worship and contact sports.

-- John Bennett

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Check this out from Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion who spearheaded the recent 100,000 Poets For Change and who are continuing the literally earth shaking effort. Go to the link 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Event.

Watch the exciting video there. Consider giving anything you can!



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It kills me to read that morons in Texas who choose school text books make their decisions on the basis of non-science and religion. Were their malice restricted to the children of Texas alone, that in itself would be criminal However, the Texas choices, for some reason or other, are observed by school districts around the country. The following letter from Kurt Vonnegut on a similar subject was sent in 1973. I owe its discovery to the wonderful blog Letters of Note (correspondence deserving of a wider audience)



In October of 1973, Bruce Severy — a 26-year-old English teacher at Drake High School, North Dakota — decided to use Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, as a teaching aid in his classroom. The next month, on November 7th, the head of the school board, Charles McCarthy, demanded that all 32 copies be burned in the school's furnace as a result of its "obscene language." Other books soon met with the same fate.

On the 16th of November, Kurt Vonnegut sent McCarthy the following letter. He didn't receive a reply.

(Source: Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage; Image: Kurt Vonnegut, via Everything was Vonnegut.)

November 16, 1973

Dear Mr. McCarthy:

I am writing to you in your capacity as chairman of the Drake School Board. I am among those American writers whose books have been destroyed in the now famous furnace of your school.

Certain members of your community have suggested that my work is evil. This is extraordinarily insulting to me. The news from Drake indicates to me that books and writers are very unreal to you people. I am writing this letter to let you know how real I am.

I want you to know, too, that my publisher and I have done absolutely nothing to exploit the disgusting news from Drake. We are not clapping each other on the back, crowing about all the books we will sell because of the news. We have declined to go on television, have written no fiery letters to editorial pages, have granted no lengthy interviews. We are angered and sickened and saddened. And no copies of this letter have been sent to anybody else. You now hold the only copy in your hands. It is a strictly private letter from me to the people of Drake, who have done so much to damage my reputation in the eyes of their children and then in the eyes of the world. Do you have the courage and ordinary decency to show this letter to the people, or will it, too, be consigned to the fires of your furnace?

I gather from what I read in the papers and hear on television that you imagine me, and some other writers, too, as being sort of ratlike people who enjoy making money from poisoning the minds of young people. I am in fact a large, strong person, fifty-one years old, who did a lot of farm work as a boy, who is good with tools. I have raised six children, three my own and three adopted. They have all turned out well. Two of them are farmers. I am a combat infantry veteran from World War II, and hold a Purple Heart. I have earned whatever I own by hard work. I have never been arrested or sued for anything. I am so much trusted with young people and by young people that I have served on the faculties of the University of Iowa, Harvard, and the City College of New York. Every year I receive at least a dozen invitations to be commencement speaker at colleges and high schools. My books are probably more widely used in schools than those of any other living American fiction writer.

If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that. And we all know, too, that those words really don’t damage children much. They didn’t damage us when we were young. It was evil deeds and lying that hurt us.

After I have said all this, I am sure you are still ready to respond, in effect, “Yes, yes–but it still remains our right and our responsibility to decide what books our children are going to be made to read in our community.” This is surely so. But it is also true that if you exercise that right and fulfill that responsibility in an ignorant, harsh, un-American manner, then people are entitled to call you bad citizens and fools. Even your own children are entitled to call you that.

I read in the newspaper that your community is mystified by the outcry from all over the country about what you have done. Well, you have discovered that Drake is a part of American civilization, and your fellow Americans can’t stand it that you have behaved in such an uncivilized way. Perhaps you will learn from this that books are sacred to free men for very good reasons, and that wars have been fought against nations which hate books and burn them. If you are an American, you must allow all ideas to circulate freely in your community, not merely your own.

If you and your board are now determined to show that you in fact have wisdom and maturity when you exercise your powers over the eduction of your young, then you should acknowledge that it was a rotten lesson you taught young people in a free society when you denounced and then burned books–books you hadn’t even read. You should also resolve to expose your children to all sorts of opinions and information, in order that they will be better equipped to make decisions and to survive.

Again: you have insulted me, and I am a good citizen, and I am very real.

Kurt Vonnegut

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bromige Speaks/'68 On Haight/

(ed coletti w. david bromige - petaluma, ca 2007)

Hearing David Bromige Speak His Own Words Once Again

A Tribute to David Bromige, Produced by Katherine Hastings, KRCB-FM August 26, 2009

Link to Bromige, Hastings, et al

Bromige

It rained untimely

this morning early on in June

when David Bromige disappeared.

Tonight as I attempt to sleep

the wind chime outside my bedroom window

once again and endlessly recites.

(ed coletti June 4th 2009)

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Catherine Sevenau, a Sonoma, California writer follows Rick Posner's poem "1967" with her own powerful memoir from the following year. After you read this short piece, you might consider stepping up to the plate with something (any medium at all) about 1969?

1968: Positively Haight Street 1968 was the year Eldridge Cleaver published Soul on Ice (he and his wife Kathleen banked at my teller window and had the biggest hair I’d ever seen). 1968 was the year of the SDS, the Yippies, and the Black Panthers. 1968 was the year Martin Luther King was shot in Memphis, sparking riots across the nation; the day after his death hundreds of black kids from Poly High rolled down Haight in a tidal wave—smashing storefront windows and overturning cars. It was the year of sweeping anti-war protests, the Tet Offensive and the My Lai massacre—the year the Viet Nam war ripped our country inside out. It was the year Bobby Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, the year of the Democratic National Convention and the Chicago riots, the year women were branded as bra-burning feminists. It was the year the Summer Olympics in Mexico City were boycotted by thirty-two African nations, the year Apollo 7 and Apollo 8 were launched, and the year Richard Nixon was elected.

I existed in the eye of this turbidity—not oblivious—but neither overly concerned nor connected to the world's chaos. Dressed in my starched white button-downed-collared blouse and my navy blue A-line skirt, wearing pantyhose and white flats, Coral Sea lipstick and a helmet-head Summer-Blonde flip, I watched with detached interest the swirl of humanity through the plate glass windows of my dad's five-and-dime where I had worked every summer since I was 12, and then from across the street at the corner bank before I married in ‘67.

In my world, 1968 was the year the neighborhood stores closed, leaving empty shells with boarded windows. The regular shoppers were done with fending off grungy panhandlers constantly asking for spare change to feed their mangy bandana-necked dogs. They were tired of stepping over stoned fourteen-year-old runaways who looked like five miles of blank road six days in from Wichita and they'd had it with being hustled, muscled, and rudely rustled by dreadlocked junkies, spaced out punks and blissed-out barefoot bums. The regulars now hailed streetcars to Irving or took the bus over to Market—or moved out of the Haight altogether—no longer willing to deal with the potheads vying for joints, the druggies peddling bennies and black beauties, or the dealers hawking balls of black opium, balloons of heroin and bindles of coke.

1968 was the year Daddy closed the store. The Summer of Love, the riots and the changing times did my father’s business (and my father) in. I find it worthy to note that his history, albeit on a grander scale, echoed the same song some fifteen years before. The sex, drugs and rock n' roll that had then taken him down back then once again cracked my Dad’s foundation and walls. Once again he sold his stock, boarded his windows, and locked his front glass door, and—once again—left town.

1968 was also the final straw for my mother. 1968 was the year she ended her life in a small hotel on Whittier Blvd., closing a chapter on mine.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Raven with the Buddha's Face/Cranes/Critical Silence/Ungulations:Review/ Rick Posner's “1967”/
















Joyce Coletti Collages

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A Gift

Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
this gift is your answer.

- Denise Levertov




To a poet,
silence is
an acceptable response,
even a flattering one.

- Colette, author (1873-1954)

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1967

by Rick Posner

Otis sleeping in the deep six of Lake Mendota,
his body sinking under lead-vested loneliness,
his soul too rich for his own good.


Che laid out like a suckling pig
by the Bolivian cowards.
“ Shoot,” he said, “You are only killing a man!”

Lenny on the toilet with a needle hanging,
thinking about his next court date, all the betrayals
and all the fools and kings.
(Uncle Miltie smirking in the wings, whoopee cushion in hand.)

Who else bit the dust in ‘67?

Coltrane as high as you can get,
down on all fours ,
being whipped into submission by a raging cancer,
just when he couldn’t get any looser or free.

‘67 slugged it to them
‘67 dampened the spirits.
‘67 buried the muse
‘67 choked the chicken

Woody G. fading away…
Disowned by his old Oklahoma home,
his voice trailing the tears of ramshackle migrant misery.



Sandburg buried in his humility,
up to his neck in the arms and legs of humanness.
Left to the dogs of time,
lapping at his carcass.

Johnny Keane freed from making choices (in both leagues.)
No more Gibson glares when he came to get him in the eighth.
Bombing under pressure in the Bronx.
Breaking his heart like a splintered bat.

Spencer Tracy drenched in his drunken sweat as
Death began sawing down his tree with a wry smile.

Newark: burned and abused.
Blue-shirts beating their brothers.
26, dead as door nails.
No one knew their names.

Dorothy Parker, Claude Rains and countless naves and naïfs
Dead in alleys, dirty beds and hallways,
All swept by the tide,
Washed up like shriveled jellyfish.
Their last whines and wheezes
gasping for one more try
and zero thoughts of heaven-

Nineteen Sixty-Seven.

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Ungulations:Ten Waves(Under The Hoof) A. diMichele & Amy Trussell (Surregional Press, Slidell, Louisiana 2011)

First, the caveat that Amy Trussell is a friend of mine. Then the apology for the disclaimer. The brilliance of friends may be overlooked when familiarity breeds, not contempt, but rather an intimacy beyond which it becomes difficult to immediately notice something much bigger. However, since I became familiar with Amy Trussell's work before I knew Amy, my respect preceded my friendship, and the latter put a face and a heart on the work. I do not know A. diMichele in the same way. Therefore, my respect for him comes from this work and his association with Amy Trussell.

Ungulations is that type of poetry book which defies, even laughs at explanation. So I will be brief here and suggest that you pick up a copy and lose yourself in it. Amy Trussell is a moon worshipper who exhalts the deer and celebrates the Goddess, but far far more deeply than do those who use the term with its typical loose associations. Amy is deeply rooted in a mythology which rises above myth. She is quite literal about the moon, "0 shamanka luna,"

di Michele and Trussell open similarly to Dante with

we take armorica bread to a descent unknown
through fogs of gel and slithering
where rainbows forget the log lit fires

and the iris and the pupil are reversed

Yoking the Christian and Pagan, saint bridhe galloped sans mare.../...spare the lilith-faeries our trespasses. And Witches abound with a fleet of cauldrons hissing and i throw comfrey in the pot with some old bones.

There are scholarly allusions done Irish-Indian-beautifully,

burning earthen waxforms of bran or kukulcan for
the yeats-ganesh rite, mashing persimmons in the night
in front of hestia's fireplace
smell of yeast rising from the middle of the earth

And, both despite and due to their being scholarly poets, di Michele and Trussell hold my interest all the more when their use of arcana also seems to pay homage to such more modern "gods" as TS Eliot with this echo,

yama yemaya am, i (one equals
= everyone, mounds, all-my-relations)

This book yokes world myths to present realities. A young witch who scuba dives while i can only douse my head. And the myths run from Irish to Indian to African and back again with what seems to be as much intimately known as it is researched. Arcane esoterica frames a horrendous auto accident,

she is driving but arianhod quasar is at this silver wheel
almanac

and we are bound for manonia

Such use of myth and ritual to describe present "realities" abounds. The authors connect Indian saints from the epic of Hanuman with a tether to domesticity,

now to bake orange hagiograpy cake

I now end as I began. Pick up a copy of this epic. Immerse yourself in it. Google its many exotic references. Learn as you go. Let your spirit rise with the soaring poetry. (Point of contact mesechabe@hotmail.com OR amytrussell@earthlink.net

Comment or Read Comments Here on any of the above or below. Log in under "Name/URL," (it's easy). Just the name (don't worry about the URL). Actual name is best, but use what you like. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net, and I can post it.