Sunday, April 01, 2012

The Instrument of Others Leonard J. Cirino

The Instrument of Others
Leonard J. Cirino
Lummox Press 2012
ISBN 978-1-929878-33-8

“If they had their way” is the first poem in this book
and it lets the reader freely wonder throughout the their
thoughts without fear, because without free thought or
free form, a lot of the contemporary writers and readers
would be boxed in by stricter forms, such as, keeping in
a straight line and if your not into freedom, I suggest,
dear reader, you might want to read another book of poetry,
more suitable to your inclinations, because this book
is about freedom:

“the Bishops would kill me
as would the heathens and heretics,
the Commies, and surely the fascists.

At best, the do-gooders and quasi-liberals
would silence me because
if I were to call myself anything
it would be mystical anarchist;

my thoughts like birds,
always flying free.”

Modern Greeks name holiness as 'bright sadness.'  Cirino refers
to light as, “but a pale sorrow” and my sorrow ebbs in knowing this;
this is the first time I've read Cirino's poetry.  This grieves me, knowing
there is no other way to speak with him, to let him know how inspired
I am by his work, his words, his poems shine on the page. I will
content myself with communing with his poems on the page. “all I can
put in the bag of this poem.” Each and every one of his verses,
leaps over the moon:

“A Sacred Madness

I didn't want to listen but the wind, the sea,
howled the world's blood-stained torments.

I turned my thoughts inside my ears
and there a scarlet madness screamed.

Behind the sky, the moon succumbed
to dawn, the twilight gleamed in pain.

My head bowed to darkness,
life was wretched, struggle dreary.

Years later I lay down in woods
and bloomed among the ferns.”

The cruelty, for me is, he writes the universal truths, the song
we all want to sing but we get caught-up into the worldly net
and then we are left without those few poets who can bring us
into the cathedrals, temples, or the landscape ecstasy, brought
to us through the music, words can and must bare. The poems
are, at times, as religious as they are anarchist:

“In a Church
        for Akhmatova

In a church or another place with music
some men die with a tortured beauty,
but women, women's poems are fire
written into the ash of history.”...

Who else in these contemporary times, can pave the way,
who can purify our thoughts, who can just let the want to write
with night beauty. who writes with true ocean verbs. Do you know
how hard it is for me to write a review for this eminent book?
It feels unbearable, like cutting down a tulip magnolia tree
in full bloom. The book must be read and not reviewed:

“Unaware I'd Fallen

Not knowing where I'm going, I walk
in the dark, unaware I've fallen
and landed on some moss. Soft
and comfortable, it's my bed for the night.
I curl up and pull my dog close. She sighs
and moans in her sleep. Arm for a pillow,
I watch the moon fall off the western edge.”

The reader would be foolish not to have this book on their
shelf or on the floor next to their beds.

“Less is More-Two Geese 
for Ava

Not much nest making left, we've had our share.
Now we're like homing geese, tipped wing to wing.”

Irene Koronas
Reviewer: Ibbetson Street Press
Poetry Editor: Wilderness House Literary Review     

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