Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beirut Again by Allen C. West

Beirut Again
by Allen C. West
Off the Grid Press
Copyright © 201 by Allen C. West
ISBN: 978-0-9778429-4-0
Softbound, 75 pages, $15

Review by Zvi A. Sesling

Oh, oh I thought, here is politics as poetry. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised by Allen West’s poetry. It is a recollection of life, love and personal
thoughts that take the reader into the world of his youth, his fears/nightmares and
youthful visits from the Grand Canyon to Fenway Park. He flips and back and
forth between present and past, between childhood, World War II, loves – any of which the reader cannot only associate with, but even visualize him/herself in the poem.

One of the poems that particularly caught my attention is “beloved” which is reminiscent of the Sufi poets:

your wrist is still
as warm as an egg

in my palm
i dare not touch

your pale leached
ear dare not taste

your lips
your cracked tongue’s

charred underside
i do not see your dreams

do not enter your bed
but bend to you

inhale the broken

West writes about his father (to whom the book is dedicated), mother,
ghosts, bears, fish, lovers and whatever else has left an impression on
his fertile mind and creative powers.

This is a book I enjoyed because it is personal, enjoyable and that Holy Grail word of poetry: accessible

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