Monday, December 21, 2009

Limberlost Press

I have this bad habit, you see. I don't read books inasmuch as I read authors. Once I get my hooks into something good, I want it all. Which leads one to unfortunate (but lucky) circumstances like owning everything Peter Matthiessen ever put to paper, an ouevre which will give me lasting pleasure into my dotage, or owning all the volumes in the Poems of the Millenium series. I despair even of completing all the books in my library, let alone the 5 or 6 or 20 new ones I pick up every month. I tell myself I have no other public vices, and I purchase at will.


So, recently, in my desire to buy all the Ed Dorn I could get into my system, I picked up his last book, Chemo Sabe--from Limberlost Press--a beautiful oversize chapbook of poems written as Dorn was dying of cancer. Light holiday reading in other words. The papers on this book are exquisite, the type is large enough to read comfortably--not always the case--and it's generally a fine product before you even get to the words.

I just bought my second chap from them, Beneath the Chickenshit Mormon Sun, by Bruce Embree, who I'd not heard of. How can you resist that title, though? Between that and the bright yellow-orange color, I was sold. I'm simple that way.

The man himself is another sad casualty--the suicidal poet. No need to say more of that. There is more to him, of course. The words. His style is plain, with nothing you would consider experimental or even contemporary, except for a curious habit of leaving the "I" out his persona's direct address, as you'll see in this poem. I say curious because that missing "I" seems to occur at random throughout the poems. The book lends itself to a staccato reading, the way you might read a bit of prose, and it's born of the Bukowski school. Except,with talent. But, see for yourself.

Beneath the Chickenshit Mormon Sun

It turned out worse than I thought
The champion defended his title
then Eldridge Cleaver came on
to talk about his reason for becoming a member
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Grandma and I damn near fell out of our chairs
Went to town and got crazy drunk
Came back home, called you long distance
after cruising and drooling Mainstreet again

This is my last wish and love poem
It is as follows
Want to hold the wake at noon with plenty of acid and rum
No friends or relatives
Ghost music by Hendrix and the Byrds
drowning all sound
as you fuck me to dust
beneath the chickenshit Mormon sun.


As always, I want to read more of this man, and there's only one chapbook left to find. And I'm on the hunt for it, knowing I have new books coming for Christmas, notwithstanding the fact that we just bought a house and despite the money I'm sure it will cost, I have to have it.

Sometimes, my vice is painful. But if it wasn't painful sometimes, it wouldn't be a vice.

And remember Limberlost Press. These are some of the most beautiful chapbooks I own, and I'll surely be combing through the catalogs to buy more. Check them out.

1 comment:

  1. I also go in for the author collections, and reading, and I have always enjoyed reading Edward Dorn.

    I have had to cut back on my book purchasing though as I have bought them faster than anyone could read them and as I get older, and the eyes less cooperative I read them slower... as my wife says I bring home books in order to appease the Book God.

    I have been known to buy a book before food.

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