Friday, January 4, 2013


The new year has arrived, and I'm looking forward, simply forward, I hope.  There is so much I'd like to accomplish this year, but first, health, always health, as my dad says.  I wish everyone a beautiful year with lots of good health, illumination, and persistent curiosity.

Below are three books I've recently read.  I have to write a little something more about Cadillac Men here though.  Cadillac Men is a timely collection written by poet Rebecca Schumejda with pitch-perfect dialogue performed by characters in a stuffy pool hall who chalk up enough wisdom, heartache and perseverance to steer us right into the new millennium.  One cannot fake dialogue like this, and Schumejda's, honed by her days as a pool hall owner in New York's Hudson Valley with her husband, should be the standard-bearer.  Cadillac Men brings us memorable characters like Bobby Balls-In-Hand, Mikey Meatball, and Shakes.

Here is an epigraph used to begin section 5 in the collection.  It's a quote from a character named Aristotle.

"No man is ever really free.  Every man's got his cell.  Mikey Meatballs got his lies, No That Pocket George got his secret.  You got your words.  Wally's cell is a pool table.  And your husband, when he leans into the table, he's got those steel bars in his eyes too."

One of my goals early this year is to write a review of the book.

(click images)

And Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry!  Poems by Natalia Toledo, Antonio DelToro, David Huerta, Maria Baranda and so many others in this delicious collection have been an inspiring read.

I'll sign off with a poem by Lew Welch whose poems rock clarity like no other.

[Apparently Wasps]

Apparently wasps 
work all their only summer at the nest,
so that new wasps work
all their only summer at the nest,
et cetera.

All my lizards lost their tails, mating.
Six green snakes ate all my frogs.
Butterflies do very odd things with their tongues.

There seems to be no escaping it.
I planted nine tomato plants and water them.
I replaced my rotten stoop with a 
clean Fir block.

Twelve new poems in less than a week!

Best wishes in 2013!

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