beautiful

Posted: January 25, 2013 in greater writers than me
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fjordsi’ve tried several times to write about Zachary Schomburg’s Fjords, Vol. 1, but the long and short of it is that this book does just about everything you can ask a volume of prose poetry to do.

a) simple words are arranged into direct sentences, but that simplicity and directness is all on the surface. dig: “the world is as steady as if it were sewn into the skin of the universe.”  the metaphor suggests that the steadiness is painful. the sibilance underlines the metaphor. nothing is forced.

b) the poems can be enjoyed singly, but this is a definite collection. they’re best read as a volume in one sitting. then read it again in another sitting. you’ll better appreciate the plays on death, free will, and love. you’ll better feel the interconnectedness of the poems, the large themes of death, indifference, free will and love and the repeating images of trees, cats, and Paris.

c) ideas. contemporary literature rarely offers conclusions. in this work, though, conclusions are drawn and then redrawn. in “tiny castle,” we grow up and, afterward, ‘we can never again be swallowed by the enormity of something besides ourselves.” in “miner death,” the speaker is lost in a labyrinth of mines. then “you open your mouth. A bright circle of countryside is out of it.” philosophers are under pressure to resolve or explain contradictions. poets* describe their mystery.

i haven’t discussed his dry surreality. dude, just try this example.

The Donut Hawk

On a long hunt over the ridge, I finally spot the elusive hawk that is made of a donut. It is called the Donut Hawk. It has been a myth in my clan for generations, so I set out to prove its existence, and shoot at it. My first bullet goes right through its donut hole. It lifts off the ground clumsily, wet with sugary glaze, so I shoot again, killing it. When I approach it to bring its donut back to my village, I find that it is not the only donut hawk in existence, that in fact there are millions of donut hawks sleeping peacefully in a hidden valley on the other side of the ridge, each in perfect families of twelve. With my rifle, I kill one whole family. This is where donuts come from.

*include imaginative writers of all stripes, plus, at least, kierkegaard.

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