Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Running my fingers against the paper, letterpress feels sacred; as I hold, turn, consider the details of each page stitched, bone folded, the presentation sets up the poem titles ranging from 'Raven' to "The last flight':
"First on the road, stripping flesh,
then on my shoulder, squeezing;
it appeared, no larger than my palm and blind,
when I was young, uniformed,
and driven to Saint Sebastian's School.
With me most days, it smells life.
I find small digs in my skin,
and sometimes feathers brush my ear.
Outside chapel black birds laugh
and make war. They find each other in the sky,
form cities, raise generations of shadows
while I squirm on the worn bench.
At night the wind comes through sashes
and makes my dry house sing against its will;
my shutters shake like weak elbows. It's then,
tiny enough to fit in my pill box, the raven sleeps.
I would give this small pinching thing to you,
then smoke salmon caught from the river
as it left the sea. Hang the shining flesh
over green wood, so together, you, and I, and the raven
could eat the body of the old soul that swam so far,
then its roe, its tiny stars, the possibilities."
The images provoke questions and in some of the poems the questions are answered, "Can we turn off the lights?" "Have you heard the microbes sing?" DM Gordon's poems are concerned with existence, finding a place to live, "he might start again in Brazil, where the scent of blue has changed, but is still other." His verses sing out and I recommend;
"When I walked down the path at dusk
from the home I built on the edge of the cliff,
I took care not to step on the snails.
They littered the way and clung
to the burnt red walls, absorbed
with each other - what do I know
of the spent hours of snails?
I picked my way through them
to where my friends danced
in their tin-roofed cabin under the cliff,
the music thinned by the roar of the river…"
Ibbetson Street Press
Wilderness House Literary Review