Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Living In Dangerous Times. Linda Lerner. ( PO BOX 792 Rockford, MI 49341 http://www.presapress.com/ $6.

Linda Lerner is a Brooklyn-based poet who is passionate about poetry’s potency in our increasingly frightening and alienating age. Having interviewed her, published her, and reviewed several of her books I can say she shoots from the hip, is politically engaged, and at times very erotic. Like Lifshin, she is a popular poet, and although she teaches at Brooklyn College, her poetry remains outside the gates of the academy. In the poem “Who Dares Invoke The Bard?” Lerner is full of righteous indignation about the reporter who described Howard Dean’s primal scream as a “mad howl.” Surely not a “howl” worthy of Allen Ginsberg:

“ What “mad howl”
Allen would have fumed…

his ashes stir in its urn
at the very mention…

eminds us who rammed past
Columbia’s hollowed gates
more than fifty years ago
freed poetry a whole decade
marching in robot lockstep
nation: to breathe in
our own rhythm.

the sound that still reverberates
loud as all hell.” (9)

Linda Lerner is a fine addition to Presa Press’s “Contemporary Poetry Series.”

Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update

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