Books Received

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Rob Cook, Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade, The Bitter Oleander Press.

Morgan Adams, In Nonestica, Accents

Susana Case, Elvis Presley’s Lips & Mick Jagger’s Lips  Anaphora "Breaking up is so very hard to do.”  Poems about a divorce with a “mix tape” of songs both popular and obscure, incorporated into  the text.  Technically adroit, amusing and challenging poetry.  Love is a Battlefield………

Alan Casline, The Cauldron Poems, Hank’s Original Loose Gravel Press.  Mytheopoetic poems readers of Clayton Eshleman will find familiar.  Those with a predilection for  Archeological Digs will be fascinated. Others, like Bernadette Mayer, will confess, “these poems are too deep for me”  though we don’t necessarily believe her.

Bernadette Mayer, The Helens of Troy Poems, New Dicretions.  An inspired brief collection with photos of the Helens, is just what the title indicates; poems about people named Helen who live in Troy, New York.  Bernadette interviewed people who responded to her “call for Helens” and wrote pieces about the lives of each of these women.  Some are witty, others technically precise and others whimsical; all of them brilliant.

Eric Greinke, For the Living Dead New and Selected Poems forthcoming 2104 from Presa S Press.

James Darman, The Buddha Doesn’t Live Here, Epic Rites.
John Dorsey, Tombstone Factor, Epic Rites.
Rob Plath, Dead is Dead,  Epic Rites
Jason Hardung, The broken and the damned, Epic Rites.

Prima Shinebourne, Radioactive, Poetry Salzburg Pamphlet series #7.  Poems inspired by the life of Marie Curie.

Hosho McCreesh, Something Random & Tragic to Set the Guts Aflame, A long memoir poem, a not so still life with alcohol. Let the good times roll.

Gene McCormick, Lives of passion: Edward and Antoinette,  RWG Press.

Laura Eklund, Song of Lisbon, Wind.


Laura Eklund, Song of Lisbon, Wind Publications, 600 Overbrook Drive,  Nicholasville, KY 40356. 75 pgs, npl, 2013.

Every so often, maybe once a decade or so, you get a book that defies all expectations, refuses categorizations, and is so clearly unique,  that all attempts at definition feel futile.  Reading Laura Eklund’s book, “Song of Lisbon”, I felt as if I were being drawn to a place I had never been before.  In an attempt to clarify, I am going to share some of the image referents that came into my head as I was reading, as imaging is what Laura is all about: 

Keats, Ode to Grecian Urn
Shakespeare, Midsummer’s Night Dream
Bergman, Hour of the Wolf
Rafeal Alberti, To Painting
Joyce, dream sections of  Ulysses

As I read I felt as if I were caught in a current of color, a stream of consciousness that was sweeping me away beyond a horizon that seemed to have no borders.  Once I was convinced that I was thoroughly within a dream state, Eklund shifts gears, providing a poem of lyrical intensity rooting us in a specific place and image.  She contemplates her lover’s/ soul mate’s, body, she celebrates the marriage covenant, she immerses herself in the world around her and she sings with a clear, vibrant voice.
Only a painter could have written this book and Eklund is a talented one, as her work on her website shows.  What she does with the brush, she translates onto the pages; a magnificent abstract, colorful and detailed, yet intangible and suggestive at the same time. Among her primary influences listed is Picasso.  Hr is Eklund in one of her more lyrical moments, quoted in full.

Remembered Like Picasso

It was nothing but plain sight
I could see
remembered stories-
everything contained a name
a place we could all go inside.
I stand before his paintings
like a dead man.
It is what I must finish
and how have begun.

I was puzzled, at first, by what I thought was a strange choice for sentence structuring. She uses fragments that were clearly self contained, without periods to end them, running on in thought and tone to the next clipped set of lines. But as I read on, the rightness of it became clear. In order to expand the rules, you have to break them.  This is a truly fantastic journey, one that I will undertake again to fully appreciate what I missed and to see anew what I had previously felt, touched, and dreamed on my first journey into the life, loves and art of Laura Eklund.