Thursday, March 28, 2013
by Kim Triedman
Main Street Rag
Copyright © 2013 by Kim Triedman
Softbound, 78 pages, $14
Review by Zvi A. Sesling
Kim Triedman lives with open windows and with her newest volume of poetry we stand outside her room and hear her thoughts. Reading her reveals even more and we
discover that open windows can tell us something about hearts, open and closed.
The first part of the book, “Plumb” plumbs the history of her house in ways one would not expect. It is the history of two lives, doors, basements, porches, windows, flowers, vegetables and more, all of it riveting reading because Triedman brings you into her world, her garden, her house, herself.
Forgive me, but I don’t know where
to place my foot.
See how the landscape changes, just like that?
the peas, climbing; the corn?
Nothing is where one might expect anymore, reasonably
expect, given all that time and time
before. There are things I know –
eyes, of course, wet well; the smell of rain
on the tomatoes. Moons
in all their shiny outfits.
But seasons slide beneath our feet
and high above
a hard-bill flicker taps away
at punky time.
I would go there if I could –
the next place. I would find
a way to breathe.
In the “Signs” you see the relationship between Triedman being unsure where to place a foot, perhaps a metaphor for a relationship, and the geese that don’t seem to know where to go. Is there a relationship between fear and ambiguity? Does direction necessarily have meaning?
The hostas, for instance,
how leggy they grow
and those rickety ladders
of lusterless blooms. Look, I know
what it is –
an ending again, a sorting out
of times. I can lift my head and see
parsing up a church-blue sky
and the old dog readies herself
for a winter
or may not see.
Beneath the nasturtiums:
dried leaves hang
like crumpled paper hats.
We have been here before, you and I –
a north wind whispers yellow
to the trees, and the old wicker chair sits
waiting, putting on her poker face.
It’s only that wayward flock of geese –
recklessly ignoring all the signs –
only they don’t seem to know
which way to go.
In the second section, “Plum,” the next layer of Triedman’s personal thoughts are peeled to reveal more of her relationships: In Lost In Translation, for example we see loss in a different way:
I thought you said yes
or something like it, something
juiced, a plum, and time out there
calling and calling, moons swaddling us
like silvered gauze. I thought there were
eyes talking, mouths hearing
every single word, not to mention
But enough about you.
Perhaps you didn’t know
that when I tip my head the clouds
no longer matter, nor the light;
that the red fruits on the dogwood
fall without a sound. Even that
thing we made—glitter and fire
and silk—that thing we never really knew
how to hold,
I have lost that too.
The final section is “Laden” and continues her book-long theme of things as metaphors for life, relationship and self.
Fitting, perhaps—these fruits
just beginning to turn.
I am laden.
Looking down I see
I am the bearer, the witness
unable to leave
The way athletes have career years, Triedman has produced a career volume of poetry, which is not to say past and future books have not or will not surpass this one. However, Plum(b) follows in the footsteps of those poets whose revelations about themselves and their relationships have propelled them to legendary status.
Ms. Triedman has written much about a house, plants, trees and herself. Yet ultimately
this fascinating volume of sixty-two poems is about her – good love and bad, some happy moments and sad ones. You will see her from the outside in – and the inside out. She has left her windows open for you to discover her. This is a highly recommended book by an accomplished poet.
Zvi A. Sesling
Reviewer, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
Author, King of the Jungle and Across Stones of Bad Dreams
Editor, Muddy River Poetry Review
Editor, Bagel Bards Anthology 7
Editor, Bagel Bards Anthology 8
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Mysteries of Love
New and Selected Poems
Charles P. Ries
“It's broken now. Fallen to a floor
that does not care about possibilities.
Placed in a closet of lost things,
it's a testimony that our passion
had no privilege...”
The poems touch everyday; relationships made easy, on paper, in a poem. Ries is a magician, he pulls love from each word juxtaposition, “filled with sweet flames,” the poems wear old shoes and worn shirts. We relax into the book, like a glass of wine or a beer warms us:
“...Life dealt us its cruel card. We won't be jumping into
flaming beds with the passion of young bodies. Rather,
I will roll her wheelchair or lift her off the ground when
she topples over. I will be happy to hold her in my heart
as a perfect moment when love blew through the right
window at the wrong time.”
We are not lulled into a lullaby, or tricked by sweet talk and blowing on our ear. We wake up startled by dreams and, “pretending the zit on my nose wasn't as big as a condo,” Ries mixes humor and the mean places we may end up when we fall; all his encounters, from the mundane, to the spiritual, “the constant erection, forgetfulness, and tears. Everywhere was a bed.” Girlfriend & Other Mysteries of Love, fill our glass. Love becomes every emotion, love flies and love returns us to ourselves and love makes mistakes and forgives and eats pizza alone:
“...Years later, after she dried out, moved
away, began to live in real time and
remember her days, she made friends
with life and walked the middle road
between drunks and born-again Christians.
She discovered she could zap pain
away with a flick of her forefinger.
She liked doing this better than
drinking and began to live dangerously...”
There are many girl friends. Ries writes with eyes wide open. The reader participates in all the poems:
“...When I saw her, she wept in sorrow.
Her tongue was heavy with anti-anxiety,
anti-depressant, anti-psychotic drugs she
calls her Vitamin Z. She sounded like I do
on too many beers, but without my
cheery, drunken disposition. “I want to
kill myself. I am sick of being a weirdo-
cripple-psycho-handicapper,” she moaned...”
This is a wonderful book. Love and those that find love and love coming and going, yet stays on the page in this book-- not to be missed.
Reviewer: Ibbetson Street Press