I’ve read so many good books throughout September, but I want to talk briefly about just a few. It’s getting darker earlier, I’m leaving work under the dim veil of Bojangles Lights and passing cars, and the leaves are just beginning to pick up their retreat from the trees. It’s the time to get those last few tank-tops in before they have to be covered in buttoned-up sweaters, and a time for poetry, obviously. Or picture books, or memoirs, or whatever you fantasize about reading in your dreams (that is if you are a book nerd, with black wire-rimmed glasses in your dreams…In my dreams I like to be slain a cross a bet with my feet hooked behind me, resting on my elbows staring into a bright white page).
Anyway, I haven’t really reviewed any books from this month. I’ve been falling off the wagon and into the straw. I think a lot of this is because I’ve been flying by the seat of metaphors throughout poetry books for September. The books I did review I HAD to, because there was a deadline and a publisher that was pushing me to do so. It’s so nice feeling like I’m in college again and people expect things from me. Anyway, I just wanted to share with you some thoughts about the other books I’ve read, because the majority of them were amazing and I feel like at some point, they need to be shared so that other greasy hands can discover them along the book-spine shelves.
The first is Blue Rust by Joe Millar (Joseph), who is married to poet, Dorianne Laux. I feel weird reviewing this book of poems because I see Joe and Dorianne kind of frequently at the Loft and so I’m just going to say a few words. Joe is the quintessential man’s poet. I feel like I should have been in a workshop, surrounded by hammers and different sizes of rusted nails while I scraped my boots against the cement floor, pacing through the lines of his poems. Every time I read Joe’s poetry, I feel like I could stop where I am, grow a penis, and keep on going. He makes me feel like I’d look good in a tool belt, or I can handle my whiskey (I’m not even sure I’ve ever drank whiskey). It’s fitting because Dorianne’s new book is titled Book of Men, which is definitely a married contrast to Joe’s man-ness. Reading his poems is like watching a really good, metaphorical version of Tool Time (but better, and with Joe Millar spouting off beautiful words).
I think a few quotes will show you why you should run out to your local bookstore, and buy his book of poems.
- “Now the crickets are throbbing/the ancient psalm of tall grass.” -Divorce, 19
- “The woods are quiet and full of wind/and I think: some things sound better/in books than when you actually do them.” – The Dutch Roll, 21
- “It’s no crime to be tired of the sun,/to be secretive, hiding your pain.” -Kiski Flats, 23
- “There’s a song women sing/ you know all the words to,/to make a child stop crying and sleep,/a song to make a grown man forget.” – For Annie, 24
- “Listen to the night freight coming down,/its engines, its wheels, its sack of ripe grain,/its gray rats grown fat by the iron tracks,/its love-moan traveling back through the rain.” – Day of the Dead, 79
- Here is the Title Poem in AGNI.
- Here is an interview with Larissa Szporluk.
- Boston Review, review here. Scroll down.
- Hubpages review here.
Next on the list of poets I’d totally do (coitus): Noah Falck. I think most of you already know I’m obsessed with him. And a ton, A TON, of his poems are available online (even though I encourage you to read the freakin’ books). The chapbook I just finished was one of his first chapbooks, Life as a Crossword Puzzle. It’s really interesting because all of the titles are either Across, or Down. I can’t say this book had a swarm of my favorite poems by Falck, but it comes in a shiny, pink cover and it’s stapled together. For some reason, I used to look down on author’s who stapled their collections (Nancy Hechinger is another example), but now I realize they’re saving the environment by only publishing poems that are worthy of the collection, or fit into the collection. Hechinger’s book of poems may be small, and travel-size, but it’s like jewelry, good things come in small packages. I feel the same way about Falck. This book even inspired a poem of my own to be scribbled away in my dying notebook (seriously it’s scalp is coming unglued).
I wanted to take screen shots of the images, but then that would cheat you from the full experience. Just know, that Gerzsak was in Afghanistan for fifteen months as an honorary member of a platoon. Following this, he spent a year hanging out with Afghani friends and experiencing the life of a civilian. What he found was a stark contrast between the two lives, and what you’ll see is his photo journey. Here is one of the shots within the book that is publicized on the publisher’s site and it will give you a taste of why you need to purchase this book, immediately.
- “you have not been completely/perfect either; with your troublesome body/you have done things you shouldn’t/discuss in poems.” – Penelope’s Song, 3
- “So Penelope took the hand of Odysseus,/not to hold him back but to impress/this peace on his memory:/from this point on, the silence through which you move/is my voice pursuing you” – Quiet Evening
- “On the other side, there could be anything,/all the joy in the world, the stars fading,/the street light becoming a bus stop.” – Moonless Night, 9
And, with that, I’m moving on to October and starting fresh with a few spooky books (probably not), but it would be nice if anyone could recommend any horror stories to me. I tend to put Stephen King’s books in my freezer, like my grandmother, so that I know they can’t escape, and/or bring demons into my household. So, if you can recommend anything that isn’t Stephen King, I’m grateful.
It’s time for Autumn: sweaters, scarves and all the trees dying around you.