Sunday, December 27, 2009

Loss. By Robert R. Reldan

By Robert R. Reldan
2008; 56pp; Pa; Infinity,
1094 New DeHaven St., Suit 100,
West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713.

Reldan doesn’t knock you down with big-bang language and emotions, but
as you read through Loss you slowly are filled with an overwhelming
sense of loss itself, missing the reality of the real world,
remembering the past, the dead, the realities that have departed from
you permanently. Ironically, it was only after I had finished reading
Loss that I discovered that Reldan himself is not only in prison but in
solitary confinement, and I think that this solitariness creates an
unexpected intensity of feeling in the poetry itself.

I don’t mean it’s frantic, burning, a conk on the head, but filled
with a sense of almost buddhistic “distancing” from the realities of
Reldan’s own feelings, and the “distancing” gives it a special sense of
loss: “Black night --quiet time/Memory tiptoes through dusty
corridors/of the mind.../not knowing what it’s looking for/but kjnowing
it will recognize it/if found//There’s a first bike--/gathering rust,
tire flat/There’s an early birthday --look at all the balloons/There’s
a school day -- a dance --a vacation//There are so many things,
Memory/doesn’t know which way to turn...” (“Lost, But Found,” p. 17).

While you’re still surrounded by some sense of stability /having, you
don’t step to the edge of despair, but once you’re totally removed from
The Present, the Past takes over. And that’s what we have here, an
exercise in total deprivation and distancing so that the reader,
entering into Reldan’s

world, is stimulated to look at his own past in a much more
horrifically terrifying way. No Present, all Memory/Past. Loss is a
kind of beginner’s book of multi-dimentionalizing having and losing.
You walk away from it with your own view of your own personal present
and past totally changed, feeling more than ever not merely the
preciousness of what you have, but the transience of having it.

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