Sunday, November 09, 2014

Review, THE BLOOD OF A TOURIST by William Taylor, Jr.,

Review, THE BLOOD OF A TOURIST by William Taylor, Jr., Sunnyoutside, PO Box 911, Buffalo, New York 14207, 92 pages, $13, 2014

Review by Barbara Bialick

In the title poem, “The Blood of a Tourist,” poet William Taylor, Jr. says he, Taylor, is like the tourist with blood so cold, he “could only look away” at the wino, “a wounded beast/drunk on the wine/of our fear…”

This is a collection that speaks of the “terror” in life—and “the people you try not to look at”:

“I awoke with the terror today/…this morning it lingered/in the unmade bed/the dirty dishes…/I saw it in the man on the bus/and the woman in the grocery store/and wondered if they saw it/in me/…most everyone knows the terror/more than they will say/.”

Taylor says he was born “with a weak heart and frightened eyes”—“I met the big nothing early on,” he says, having “to let others walk the world/as if they had some place in it.”

This reviewer had a similar feeling when I was young and felt like the author writes, “myself content with dreams/of little rooms with little windows/looking out upon the rain…”

Other sad people (or the secretly sad) could relate to these spare but arresting poems:  “It suddenly strikes me/that so many lives could be made/from all we’ve simply/thrown away…”

William Taylor, Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, California. His other book titles are BROKEN WHEN WE GOT HERE (Epic Rites, 2013), AN AGE OF MONSTERS (Epic Rites, 2012), and THE HUNGER SEASON (Sunnyoutside, 2009).  Many of his poems have previously appeared in a wide variety of literary publications.

Reviewer Barbara Bialick is the author of TIME LEAVES and NEVER RETURNS (Ibbetson Street Press).

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