Sunday, October 30, 2005

We Need A Night Out. Tim Gager. ( ) $15.

I first became familiar with Tim Gager’s poetry when he sent me his manuscript: “From The Same Corner of the Bar,” that Ibbetson wound up publishing in 2003. Gager’s poetry is a potent mix of humor, love, lust, self-flagellation, and hard drinking. Gager shows his range with work that speaks to the doting father, the down-at-the-heels barfly, and the both distanced and the attentive lover. In the end we are all an enigma to each other, and Gager explores this mystique through his own quirky persona. In his poem: “H.G.Wells,” Gager adds a needed dose of levity to the inevitable path of a May/December romance: “ So I fall in love, I mean younger/ as in/ perhaps twenty years./ Then I wonder why she freaks/ and has a ton of emotion/ Sexually it’s great, I’m teaching, she’s learning/ I reach for my inhaler to keep up./ I think it is going to be over soon/ I’ve finally wasted someone else’s youth…”

In “Perfect Kid,” Gager conveys a studied tenderness towards his children, and makes a nod to the passage of time: “Walking through the park/ wondering how he stays complete/ this boy of mine/ running ahead laughing with his sister/ perfectly loving her and/ I smile knowing/the leaves will begin to turn soon/ falling, flashing of color,/ swept up in a spin/ that happens each year…

“ We Needed A Night Out” can be considered a signature Gager work. It holds the sinewy meat that makes the man, and we meet him at a most human level.”
Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update/ Somerville, Mass.

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