Skip to main content

Halvard Johnson's The Perfection of Mozart's Third Eye

Via Ron Silliman:

Read Halvard Johnson's Sonnets. I don't know him from Adam, honestly, except through Facebook first and then the idle clickthrough to work I enjoyed. But I like his poems. That's too many links in those few words. Oh well--here's one more: Chalk Editions.

I haven't read the entire thing yet, just enough to know they're very good poems, and it's a mammoth 200-some pages, so I have a lot to look forward to. Here's an early favorite.

Elegy Just in Case

A public life is what he led. Baseball, not books, gave him
ballast. A ball launched out of the Polo Grounds in 1951
lodged in his head, which fondled its curves and seams
when there was nothing else worth thinking about.

Holy relics of memory, taken down from the shelves, change
hands quietly, among the finer calibrations of kinesthetic
fervor. Mystery or metaphysics. Could you choose just one?

Next to impossible, an over-the-shoulder catch on the centerfield
track. No longer any need to say what might have happened,
rolling down the drainpipe of history, truly lost for all time.
Taking discontinuity for granted, he angled for the sidelines,

watching it go, its generosity noticed only by those not blinded
by the late afternoon sun. Over the fence, in his neighbor’s
yard, hearing a strange sound, wondering what it was.

His homepage is here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Amy Holman

My mother made herself the deer with a broken leg 
We saw a deer through the pane into someone else’s yard. The leg moved like a tube sock pinned to the hip  and half filled with sticks. I did not like to see it suffer,
either. She was upset —my mother —that no one helped  the doe. Was it a mother, too? As if we were the first to observe the scene. We weren’t. All had been told to
let her be. My mother had suffered a destruction  of the self, a divorce, and no one cared. That wasn’t true.  We were grown, on our own. I agree it was hard. Yet 
in those moments of a cold November day, we watched  a doe, disabled and enduring, walk across a yard and eat  a hedge. I wish she could have seen it like that.
Amy Holman is the author of the collection, Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window (Somondoco Press, 2010) and four chapbooks, including the prizewinning Wait for Me, I’m Gone (Dream Horse Press, 2005). Recent poems have been in or accepted by Blueline, concis, Gargoyle, The Westchester Revie…

June Poem Reviews

I've had fiction and non-fiction reviews published in quite a few journals and have been a member of the National Book Critics Circle, when I could afford it. Therefore, I feel quasi-professional in those arenas. I don't necessarily feel that way about my poetry reviews. I have opinions, though, and in the interest of keeping my poetry-mind occupied during an otherwise stressful time in my life, I'd like to make you, the poetry world, an offer. If you mail me your chapbook or book--at least 24 pages but no more than 100 pages, self-published or traditional--I will post a review of between 150 and 300 words about it, as professionally as I can, in the following months. Promise. Mail me your book, get a review. Easy. If I get a huge response, I'll declare a cap and communicate it here. I would prefer to work from print copies. I hate reading poetry in PDF or MOBI--my preferred methods for prose--because the lines never break correctly and I find myself critiquing lineati…

Gypsy Queen by Nicole Hennessy, reviewed by Rusty Barnes

Nicole Hennessy
Gypsy Queen
Crisis Chronicles Press
2019
60 pages
$12
Nicole Hennessy's Gypsy Queen, #109 from Crisis Chronicles Press, is a representative small press text in many ways. Filled with free-verse poems that tend toward the long and discursive, the book is arranged in such a way that the poems' performative aspects are in full effect, with strong voice and lots of sound-play. In "Vultures," a poem in five short sections, the speaker says to the potential partner "Tell me everything about me./Leave no room for me to tell you." which is a nice effect, as potential partners in the beginning usually say "tell me everything about you," so it's an intriguing beginning. We know this speaker is all ego from the get-go, doubling down on that initial statement by confessing just a few lines farther down:

I knew we'd walk to that cemetery together
I wanted to tell you something about myself
through those streets alone, along which I&#…