Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Boston Poet Journal. Virgin Voyage. (Boston Poet Publishing 19 Oakridge Dr. Londonderry, NH 03053) $10.

I remember rushing down to the long-defunct Book Cellar in Porter Square, Cambridge to get my copy of the "Boston Poet" some years ago. Many of us local poets often published on these pages, and more than a few got their first credits and moved on to publish and read widely. It was a scrappy newsletter, with right-on interviews, poetry, listings and reviews. Diana Saenz, the founder, writes in the forward that the journal is a "third generation" publication. After changing ownership for a few years, it later morphed into an online enterprise Now it has reemerged as the "Boston Poet Journal" and Saenz is back at the helm. The inaugural issue has poetry from many of the stalwarts of the Boston poetry scene including: Afaa M. Weaver, Raffie Wolf, Walter Howard, C.D. Collins and others.
Walter Howard has a poem dedicated to the Boston poetry impresario Harris Gardner titled" Winter" Howard writes like a modern day Shakespeare recounting the call to of all places the Warwick Museum of Art in Rhode Island for another session of Gardner’s "Mad Poets’ CafĂ©" reading series.

" Into the windswept night
We flew
naked to the winter’s wrath
his terrible swift sword
Warwick our goal
To Warwick!
heart in both hands
storehouse of honey
harbor of wounds."

And poet Afaa Michael Weaver remembers his first car and uses it as a vehicle for a rite of passage for the young blue collar Baltimore black kid he once was:

…In motion,
a car’s wheels are the signals of the way
its soul hisses, sucks in its breath.
It breathes air like that spring air
of purple and yellow when I washed
the first car I ever drove, as Uncle Frank
let me turn it around in the alley.
I dreamed of chasing women with a machine
that could play music and smell like evergreens.
I dreamed of the hunt and being in the cut.
Uncle Frank through in men’s mother wit
to keep me out of Baltimore’s apocalypse--
A black man’s gotta wear suit and ties,
A black man gotta have a private world."

This is a fine rebirth of the Boston Poet. Highly Recommended.

Doug Holder/Ibbetson Update/ Jan 2007//Somerville, Mass.

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