Monday, June 19, 2006

Poems: Unearthed From Ashes. Mike Amado. ( Dorrance Publishing. 701 Smithfield St. 3rd floor. Pittsburg, PA. 15222) $9.

I met poet Mike Amado at the weekly meeting of the “Bagel Bards,” now held every Saturday at 9AM at the Au Bon Pain CafĂ© in Davis Square, Somerville. Mike hails from Plymouth, Mass., is a self-employed musician, and a long-practicing poet who penned this collection, “Unearthed From Ashes,” over five years during treatment for kidney disease. Amado describes himself as a ‘multi-ethnic,’ poet. The poems here deal with his Native American background, as well as his exploration of nature, mortality and the trials and travails of the act of writing. In the lead poem “Mighty Orange Lightning,” Amado paints a powerful elemental scene of man and nature, and the yearning for connection:

“ Mighty, orange lightning
In the northern sky
Let your voice sing
On the breeze
Mighty drumbeat rippling
An unmeasured rhythm
Breathe…let me breathe
…And shake, and ravel
In the wind where I stand
Through the clouds, you unfold
Your purple wings.
Breathe-seek your connection
Where static of sky
Meets fingers of earth.”

And a real gem of a poem “The Punk Poet and the Editor,” deals with a minimalist editor’s desire to cut a poem, and an expansive Punk poet’s desire to embrace the infinite with a colorful flourish of words. Here the poet has a few words about minimalism:

“But he takes every sentence
And leaves it dismembered, performing semantic
Dissection on parts of my speech, then transecting
The skin of preposition from the noun-flesh
In such a way to confirm the fact that “poetry...
Is the art of condensing.”
Exposing to view through a part-by-part analysis of
The physiology of signs and symbols; concepts and
Feelings to reveal not just the actual structure
But the anatomy of “minimalism.”


Doug Holder/Ibbetson Update/ June 2006/Somerville, mass.

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