Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Our Daily Words by Bernard Horn

Our Daily Words
Bernard Horn
Old Seventy Creek Press Poetry Series 2010
ISBN 1450526004

It is impossible for me to not love these poems when in the first poem
'The Smell of Time,' emits beauty and turtle shell hard as rock to knock our
heads against, the poems are at once our home and the author's home:

“...time enters the mind on waves of odor:
in chills and songs, in turtle eyes
that are sharp black dots
on warm jade, in the tastes
we remember, we relive
and get recaptured by our old attachments...”

We read each poem in this collection, because,
it considers how far we dig to find a complete sentence, one that holds
the earth, our experience, our dreams, then when the sentence ends, we
feel complete, and only in a poem our daily refreshment:

“the old familiar talk, that
everything passes, that nothing
passes or is certain, that language
itself only yearns, can never inhabit
this earth that recedes from articulation
like a calf forever just eluding
the red hot iron, the insistent
talk, last night, of Chekhov’s words and life
rang true, and yet, snowed in
in Framingham a Tuesday workday,
school day, Hedya and I
tramping, sculpting, repeatedly
sledding a long run in the thick snow
on thin plastic sheets, one red,
one blue, while Gabi and you
prepare the first full lunch
we've all sat down to together in longer
than any of us remembers:
Hebrew National salami on rye,
Campbell's salt-and- wonton soup,
cucumbers, scallions, hot spiced cider, words
knocking against words, and Hedya dancing to
Isn't She Lovely in her long johns,
aching for her seventh birthday, so filled
with pleasure, she calls her pal, Prageeta
and bursts into laughter before she finishes
dialing, while Gabi, darkly gorgeous today,
alternately three years older and younger
than twelve, suddenly, formally,
rises, walks around the table
plants a kiss on your cheek,
walks back to her chair, sits,
shoots a grin at me, and now,
from her bedroom yells
for the spelling of “science” but presses
against my left side at this desk before
I get to the “I,” while Hedya leans in,
hangs around my other side, writing, “aske,”
“dabe,” “eat,” “fed,” on labels for me to read
out loud before she sticks them
to the back of my sweater, while you're
on the phone with Bev, and then,
lunchtime, and now, at my desk, and now, and
now, I'm almost crying, thinking of
Max von Sydow with the juggler's family
in the clearing eating wild strawberries...”

All the words in the world cupped into a book. This is without a doubt
a “must read” book.

Irene Koronas
Poetry Editor:
Wilderness House Literary Review
Ibbetson street Press

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