Monday, February 12, 2007

More of Me Disappears by John Amen

More of Me Disappears. John Amen. (Cross- Cultural Communications. Merrick, NY 2005) $12

John Amen the founder of the award-winning literary bimonthly “The Pedestal,” sent me a collection of his poetry “More of Me Disappears.” This is original work; sometimes narrative, other times abstract flashes, peppered with striking lines that blink like neon, and then disappear into the ether. “Angelica Tells Her Story” reminds me of Tennessee Williams’ mad sister that Williams was haunted by his whole life. Here Amen mourns for a sister, a family, and recites a litany of sorrows:

“Oh Marta, I suffered until laughter crawled/ up the birth canal of my heart and cried its lungs awake. / I grieve for my sister chained to the storm in her gray pulp; / my mother who died looking out a window,”

In “New York Memory $14” the poet looks back and sees a sad/sweet November in a long-ago New York – a sort of womb-like respite far from the maddening crowd:

“I walked down court street in the evenings, sat on/ the Promenade sometimes./ My father was dead,/ we were first married, and I wasn’t happy, but/ maybe things seemed all right…/ In a department/ store near St. Mark’s, we decided to have a baby./ Nothing was ever enough./ But I don’t recall it/ as a bad time, that November, that sad month,/ kind of like each day was a bizarre vacation,/ a slow parade of hours leading us toward/ the hysteria of a work day, our usual lives.”

Recommended. Amen.

Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update

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