Saturday, March 22, 2008

This is where you go when you are gone. Tim Gager

This is where you go when you are gone. Tim Gager ( Cervena Barva Press POBOX 440357 West Somerville, Mass. 02144) $7.

Tim Gager’s poems are poems of the regular guy, and in his own way Gager’s work is as American as apple pie. He is a man who is confused by and craves women, retains a childlike enthusiasm for Baseball into his middle age , downs the burger and brews, and pines for something that always seems just out of his reach. There is nothing rarefied about the poet’s work; his poetry speaks as plainly as a stick or bone.

In the poem “2A.M.” Gager writes evocatively about the concessions of carnality:

“ On me
you push down
the weight on each bent leg,
cures my evils…
no more bile
to hold down
no more skeletons
to settle for
when it’s dark…”

And Gager really hits his stride with “ stuck, with my old school ways.” I must admit in this age of the wireless I remain a Luddite , and view the pay phone, and the phone booth with a certain romantic reverence. Gager infuses this one pedestrian booth simmering in the Arizona heat with a plume of sad/sweet nostalgia and longing:

“ got green in my pocket
not plastic—nor have I
ever brought a cell
to make his call like this
with poles and wires
endless from where I stand
to you

i’ve driven miles in dust
to find this pay phone
to whisper in your ear
i love you baby
and how are the kids

on the side of the road,
my loneliness
is this booth where
i hear you smile
and I picture
the way your hips thrust
forward, every time you laugh…
this surge of you
bursts, hits me
like the heat in Arizona
at ten

This is another fine collection from Cervena Barva. And hats off to the front cover artist Andrea Libertini.

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