…filling the shadow and the room,
walking in this morning’s sunshine,
depriving it of you…
(Picture taken in Brisbane, California on October 12th, 2014)
do a rag time in Tokyo
smashing the feedback
of a million wartime guitars…
It’s a sunny flag day here in USA Land,
a day when we think that our moments of silence say
that we honor the blood and flame clouds
which were human beings before the towers went the way
of the dodo, and Pan-Am Airways.
A couple of things will become obvious quickly for readers of this review. The first is that the reviewer has the same last name as the author being reviewed. That would be because we are related. Put that aside. If writers from Sophocles to Turgenev to Steinbeck have taught us anything, it’s that father to son assessments should be read with…a critical mind, let’s say.
The second is that the author of this volume of poetry is a working poet as well as the poetry editor at Scholars & Rogues. So I admit freely there’s a bit of insider trading going on here. But I challenge the reader to find a publication that does not tout works by its own staff. For those who’ve taken that challenge – well, they’ll be gone awhile, so let’s move on, shall we?
Throwing the house from the window is Booth’s third book and second book of poetry. A brief look at his first two works is probably apropos to set this third work in context.
His second book, Danger! God Particles, is a series of what would commonly be called “flash fictions” these days, though Booth, an admirer of Donald Barthelme (and arguer with this reviewer on multiple occasions about the author’s merits) would point the reader towards Sixty Stories as an influence. Continue reading
22 is my lucky number. 22 years ago I wrote this poem, one of my best ever (or at least the one that a lot of people seemed to like). It’s a Solstice poem, and today is Solstice.
So here you go. Happy Solstice.
(The war is completed–the price is paid–the title is settled
Let every one answer! let those who sleep be waked!
let none evade!
(How much longer must we go on with our affectations
Let me bring this to a close—I pronounce openly for
a new distribution of roles;)
Let that which stood in front go behind! and let that
which was behind advance to the front and
Let murderers, thieves, bigots, fools, unclean persons,
offer new propositions!
Let the old propositions be postponed!
Let faces and theories be turn’d inside out! Let
meanings be freely criminal, as well as results!
Let there be no suggestion above the suggestion of
Let none be pointed toward his destination! (Say! do
you know your destination?) Continue reading
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley – Robert Burns
No plan, however well conceived, survives contact with the enemy. – Military Adage
Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. – Mike Tyson
My neck is sore.
It’s been 90-degree, goose-pipe bent for…Jesus who knows?
I always hated Jim Morrison. He was what I wanted to be and I assumed he couldn’t possibly deserve it. When I started reading his poetry, I brought my negative attitude with me. I felt vindicated with every cliché. I wanted to destroy the myth of Jim Morrison, the myth he lived, a wild fiery sprint from ordinary, a screaming tear through the night woods of youth, a lingering flash blindness and whispered stories.
He was a consummate borrower. Another way to say this is his poetry is pregnant with reverent homage to great writers. I wish this was a fault, but it’s not. We can never reach farther than when standing on the shoulders of giants. Continue reading
The changes in Tokyo,
have vexed me for decades.
Here in NaPoWriMo 2014, we’re encouraging everyone to write poetry every freakin’ day. As I said last week, write like nobody’s reading. In my case, I’m not doing new writing so much as I am reflecting on writing and thinking about the times when I was writing, not only every day for a month, but pretty much every day period. And I’m thinking about the writing process – why we write, and how. Continue reading
Well, no. I won’t, not me personally. I retired from writing poetry a couple years ago. But before I did I wrote four books and am currently looking to publish them, so I definitely salute the annual celebration of the art.
Here at S&R we have a deep and abiding respect for verse, and we encourage you to break out the quill and parchment (if you don’t have a quill and parchment pen and paper, or even a word processing package such as Microsoft Word will do) and get your poetry on. Continue reading
After 14 years of marriage
I wish I could say
that we made each other breakfast in bed
take my picture.
In Sanya, I love you.
I want you near to me, so you can smell the whiskey on my breath.
at the doctor’s office,
When the sun strikes
and the things that frighten you