Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Scenes From A Good Life" by Paul Kareem Taylor

“Scenes from a Good Life”


Tebot Bach, Huntington Beach, CA

Review by Rene Schwiesow

In the beginning there was the moon and the sea and it is from this that “Scenes from a Good Life” springs.

Paul Kareem Tayyar an Iranian-American poet whose first book, “Everyday Magic,” was nominated for a Pushcart in 2007, takes us on a journey through a relationship with humanity.

He lulls us into receptiveness in “New World Moonlight,” waking us up in a new city as we stand alongside him observing the moon. And we find ourselves identifying with a man experiencing anonymity and the opportunity for the birth of beginnings.

His new life will be like here,

In this world where the moon

looks back at him, where the

night seems to go on forever,

where the only thing he knows

is that he knows no one,

except the moon and the sea.

After stretching our attention into wakefulness, Tayyer deftly takes us on a themed excursion from cotton candy escapades with his father to memories of a grandmother. Her fingertips, like the fingertips of so many homemakers, no longer felt the burn of hot plates as she served her family humming the tune of a blessed life, to the proof of the power of prayer in a Kirk Gibson homerun.

Later he speaks of mermaids and Loch Ness, of Bigfoot and aliens. He reminds us that a life lived in logic leaves little room for the dreams.

“You’re such a dreamer,” she chides

me, still surprised that I, responsible

in nearly all aspects of my life, can

be so wildly prey to the most fantastic

of myths.

It is the illogical, the enigma, that can often draw us into relationship and Tayyer closes the deal easily.

But, though she would never admit

this, I think she likes this part of

me, this seriousness I have when I tell her

Martin Sheen was right when he,

back in the 70’s, declared his backyard

an available haven for spaceships.

When he finishes with

It shows that I have not surrendered

entirely to the logic and order of life

we’re standing in ovation to the need to see beyond the eclipse to the fantasies in life that burnish reality’s edges with light.

By the end of the book we are pleasantly weary from the images that have allowed us to view a little piece of our self through his writing. And we put the book aside, pull up the covers, and drift away remembering

When it ends the road slips back into what it always was,

a mirror for the rider to find himself within

Good-night Moon, indeed.

***Rene Schwiesow co-owns an online poetry forum ( and is a co-host for The Art of Words: Mike Amado Memorial Poetry Series in Plymouth, MA. She is the author of Beginnings Beget Beginnings and A Year in the Quilt. Rene can be reached at

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