Poetry Is Wanted Here! is the timely title of one of Alex Caldiero’s books, published by Ken Sanders’ Dream Garden Press. You can hear Alex performing his poem on NPR here. You can order the book here.
Yesterday two works published by Longhouse Publishers & Booksellers (Bob & Susan Arnold, Green River, Vermont) arrived in the mail, both by the British poet John Phillips who currently lives in Slovenia. He and I have been corresponding for some time and he mentioned that Longhouse had just publish a new work of his called Hourglass. I ordered it and Phillips’ 2018 fold-out book with a wraparound band called No Preference. The latter includes a poem titled “The Point” that expands Alex’s assertion about the need for poetry:
Why add more / words to the / too many there / already no one / pays much / attention to or / acts differently / after reading / as if the point of / it all were acting / differently which / hopelessly it is.
I read Phillips’ Hourglass and find ways to act differently, to think differently (and aren’t thinking and acting so intimately intertwined as to be the same?):
for Theodore Enslin
the sense of / loss / your going / makes
the sense / your going / makes / of loss
—and a second poem—
Listen / carefully
you may / hear a word
in the silence / aching
to say / something not
to make something / happen
that hasn’t / happened before
one word / with the belief
changing silence / changes everything
I unwrap and then unfold a beautiful book Longhouse did for Alex in 2007, titled Islander, and find another hopeful poem:
I want to send you / many poems, enuff / to build a new reality; / a world complete / with sun and moon and / cities where people / never have to look / for each other. / And because I dont trust / the post office, I’d deliver / them myself, or use / friends or pigeons to do the job. / Poem after poem after / poem all with the same / message always in different words, / until finally there were / enuf to start construction / beginning with a place / where you’d be most / at home, continuing / to build, adding, / layer after layer / of wild flowers, / rocks, herbs, / and the rest of it.
Poetry was wanted here today. And Alex and John Phillips delivered beautifully through Longhouse.
Thank you, my friends.