Moving at the Speed of Love: Alex Caldiero’s New Book “Some Love”

photo from the Signature Books website

photo of Alex Caldiero from the Signature Books website

It’s a prickly book, this new exploration of love and language by Alex Caldiero. The dedication to Alex’s wife—”for Setenay, some love”—ought to raise some questions at home, questions that find many satisfying answers in the edifying and eviscerating and life affirming and despairing and enlightening and surprising and playful poems.

Jason Francis designed the beautiful book, small enough to fit nicely in a reader’s hand and fat enough to include lots of poetry. Red and blue are the dominant colors of print (oxygenated and non-oxygenated blood) and creamy white paper alternates at intervals with blue and red pages. IMG_6654

Like all true love stories, this is a tragedy. Like all true love stories, this is a comedy. Like all true love stories, this is a book about language. Like all true love stories, this is an exploration of sex. Like all true love stories, this is a love story.

The epigraphs for Parts One and Four lay out two of the many possibilities: “Your eyes are beautiful—they match.” Bob Hope in Road to Utopia . . . and “If you think we’re together, you’re a poor judge of distance.” Mae West in Belle of the Nineties

A couple of poems as examples of the wit (in both senses: humor and wisdom) of the book: you are so much on my mind/you have thoughts of your own there and Her mouth on/my mouth— in old age I’ll smile and/not know why

Love is complex and frustrating: Because I was so sure/of the meaning of the word,/I didnt look it up,/but maybe I should have/because the one I heard/was not the one she spoke.

and

at cards/or love,/I lose at/both so/I stay home/for dinner

Love is satisfying and promising:

In Tongues

When my tongue/meets your tongue/it wants to play tag,/it wants to play hide-and-seek. Then fatigued,/it would lie down/in its own most bed/alone to dream in flavors.

Love is heartbreaking. Table for Two with One Chair, for instance, ends with a request: It’d be helpful/if you would return/my heart to my body.

Love moves at the speed of love in Italian as well as in English. Lovers keep telling and retelling their stories . . . della velocita of love.

Love opens up new worlds: How careful/should I be/with emotions that would unscramble/every letter in my alphabet?/Perhaps then I could learn another language.

This book unscrambles every letter in my alphabet, and for that I’m grateful.

[thanks to Tim Abbott for the title “Moving at the Speed of Love”]

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Moving at the Speed of Love: Alex Caldiero’s New Book “Some Love”

  1. Pingback: Some Love | Signature Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s