Danish Breakfast

28 October 2012 § 2 Comments

Denmark, Kangaroo, OrangeDenmark, Kangaroo, Orange by Kevin Griffith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had breakfast with Kevin this morning. Sausage and day-old pancakes with jam. And tea. We laughed as we discussed aging, travel, writing, and the odd mythology. When I say “we laughed,” I mean to say that I laughed and sensed that Kevin must have laughed as he wrote these pieces. Though I suspect with some he sighed as he revised. Or pondered. Or stewed. Because these prose poems seem to have the qualities of a mood ring: adapting themselves to the reader’s inner state so that different elements are highlighted accordingly.

I couldn’t put this book down—had to consume it in one sitting. It was every bit as engaging as the collection of his microfiction I had the pleasure of publishing (101 KINDS OF IRONY, Folded Word, 2012). Yet it had more layers, as poetry must. The same wit and wink were there, but also in attendance were beauty and insight. And a line I’ll never forget from “In the Town of the Fallen Angel”: If you are very lucky, you will see the angel himself, asleep in his chair, holding the open wings of a book in his lap.

Thank you, Kevin, for making me lucky today.

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Burkinabe Lullaby

2 June 2011 § 2 Comments

one peaceful winter twilight in 1989

I remember a night long ago, as the sun set behind the marchĂ© and a lone spire peered through the dust laden air, a lone bicyclist made his way down this empty street toward home confident that sagabo would soon warm him. Confident that after this meal, his world would sleep through the winter night wrapped in a cobalt breeze. Confident that he could hope for a profitable morrow tailoring clothes for the schoolmaster’s wife. He slept a good sleep next to his good wife and his good children. But that was long ago. Tonight I pray that peace returns to the sleep of this street, so that hope may return to the people who work and live along it. Bonne nuit, mes amies de Bobo-Dioulasso et dans le Burkina Faso entier.

Update: The day after I posted this, presidential forces arrived to restore order. The long term outcome is still unclear.

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