Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Hugh Fox on Cameron Mount's Evening Watch
By Cameron Mount
2009; 27pp;Pa; Ibbetson
Street Press, 25 School Street,
Somerville, MA 02143.$10.00.
Review by Hugh Fox
Cameron Mount is Mr. Sea/Seaside. That’s the real center of his whole world-view: “A wall of solid noise is headed my way/visually and aurally moving ashore,// Waves build crescendo as timpani drums/puntuated by strikes and crackles of light/and thunderous cymbal clashes that echo/across the building surf.//Thirty-knot winds tear through sea grass/perched atop protective dunes, whistling like
flutes...” (“Surfside Orchesta,” p.22).
He’s refreshingly unpretentious and classroomish, although he does have an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Of course Emerson College specializes in communication, not pretentiousness and that’s what Mount specializes in too, getting it across, so you walk away from his work not turned into a golliwog of confusion, but a satisfied partcipant in the variations of Mount’s sea-visions. Not that he’s Mr.
Super-Simplicity either, but has just enough artfulness to smack it to you effectively: “The cyan sky houses/a yellow sun and cotton clouds/as it arches over azure seas/and the foam-flecked northeast wind.//Zephyrs carry sea gulls, terns,/turk’s heads hung from mast heads...” (“Evening
Watch in the North Atlantic,” p.3).
His six years in the Navy didn’t hurt either, and although he’s very New England centered, a member of the Bagel Bards, Somerville’s top-drawer poets-getting-together society, there’s a lot of historical-
international geographical overseeing in his work too: “moss growing in the sidewalk cracks of Istanbul/counterfeit Malese casino dollars/tracer rounds bouncing off the Sargasso Sea...Diamond Botanical Gardens on the island of St. Lucia/Sonoma cacti in the American desert southwest/wild bamboo in a village near Shanghai.” (“Green,” p. 20).
A fascinating combination of Mr. New Englander and World Viewer, but no matter where in the world he goes, he’s always sea-oriented, the ancient past, the present moment, whatever future may come along, it’s always refreshingly sea-centered: “Heralds of the western Med,/they greet us at the Gibraltar gates/the Pillars of Hercules, harbingers/of
our approaching task......” (“Flying Fish,” p. 10).
***** Hugh Fox was the founder and Board of Directors member of COSMEP, the International Organization of Independent Publishers, from 1968 until its death in 1996. Editor of Ghost Dance: The International Quarterly of Experimental Poetry from 1968-1995. Latin American editor of Western World Review & North American Review, during the 60's. Former contributing reviewer on Smith/ Pulpsmith, Choice etc. currently contributing reviewer to SPR and SMR. Listed in Who's Who: The Two Thousand Most Important Writers in the Last Millenium, Dictionary of Middlewestern Writers, and The International Who's Who. He has 85 books published and has another 30 (mainly the novels and plays and one archaeology book) still unpublished on the shelves.