Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Appearance of the Sun, poems by Ron A. Kalman

Appearance of the Sun, poems by Ron A. Kalman

Main Street Rag, 2021 - $12.00, 37 pages

Review by Off the Shelf Correspondent Denise Provost

Ron Kalman’s chapbook Appearance of the Sun is a charming collection of poems, filled with the breath and pace of life as it is lived. The appearance of sun, rain-swept days, wind, in many of these poems links the external with the internal weather of mood and emotion.

In “Winter Day,” It is sunny, /not a good day for a revolution …., but by “Sunday Morning,” whose narrator feels like a crushed cigarette butt and wants to dream of the woman who danced in spike heels, the sun shines with harrowing brightness. In “Greece,” the natural elements seem to shape the trajectory of an unraveling love affair, as inevitably as the forms of the sea-battered rocks below.

“Living with the Famous,” a sestina, delivers cold as an artful end-word in each stanza, served up differently each time: I was your Trotsky, and you were my Sally Bowles/and there was no future, no cockroaches, no cold. Irresolute amorous relationships appear as reliably as weather, as in “Metro-Blue,” and “The Last of Annie,” which leaves its narrator looking out onto a night-lit park/where a guitarist/sat strumming.

Another theme in this collection of quirky, mordant, often funny poems is fame, and the famous. “Poem” presents a rivalrous tension between Frank O’Hara and Robert Lowell at a public reading. Charles Bukowski, William Carlos Williams, and Allen Ginsberg are evoked; Stalin and Sun Yat-sen appear, in statuary form. Among a trio of interesting and charismatic actresses, several of whom appear in multiple poems, only /Charlotte was chosen/to act with Winona Ryder/and Daniel Day-Lewis, achieving an aura as ephemeral as the mist rising from the pool.

The pleasure which can obtained from these poems need not be ephemeral. Buy yourself a copy and reread them; read them to your friends. While not the same experience as eating a freshly baked potato with butter dripping, these morsels will also delight.

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