Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Aimless Reading: The A's, Part 11

Certain Slants
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Alexander, Charles
Certain Slants

This is poetry impresario, book artist, publisher and poet Charles Alexander's most recent book. I got to hear him read from it last September when we read together in Norman, Oklahoma. Norman is Charles' hometown, so his mother, who is quite old, actually came to the reading. Charles runs Chax Press out of Tucson, where he is also intimately involved with the poetry scene via the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona and the POG Readings series where I also, thanks to CA, had the chance to read last year.

This book is mainly comprised of two ongoing series of poems, "Cardinal" and "Pushing Water." The book opens with a prose poem, called, "Color Field":

The red amulet provides a charm against impotence, providing there is no threat. A woman called herself a witch or everyone's grandmother. Red goest out from the yes and comes back through clouds on the horizon in the peace of sunset.

In a blue field (the words and lives) perhaps of water, what breaks the membrane of the surface? The rising and setting. The going forth and returning.

An older teacher who often wore brown suits described life as a series of leave takings. And the earth is brown in places. Attitude also changes.

There are black holes which bear weight, and it matter whether those places are absence or presence, and it's argued that black means no color, we are all colors and eventually go black.

She picked out a new green shirt for me at a thrift shop. Green emerges in spring in lush wet climates, and goes away again. Green liquid runs in mysterious dreams; imagine a long run on a green field. Retrace your steps carefully.

A lemon's whole strength. Peel it. Turn it in your hand. Egg yellow. Return every morning and watch the boat with yellow sail come to the dock. A yellow amulet signified safe return, providing that where you are going is in question.

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