The Brothers Silver: A Poet’s Novel – Review

Sparrow

The Brothers Silver: A Poet’s Novel by Marc Jampole Poets write novels invertedly; the language comes first, then the plot ‒ if there even is a plot. In his Acknowledgments, Marc Jampole mentions a number of poems that have been transformed into prose in The Brothers Silver. My favorite poet-novels are by Beat luminary-turned-Zen Buddhist monk Philip Whalen: Imaginary Speeches for a Brazen Head and You Didn’t Even Try. Both are gentle, sad, inconclusive portraits of San Francisco in the mid-1960s. The writing is deceptively simple, but there is a poet’s languor; a sense of the narrator watching patiently, from a great distance. Jampole writes tempestuously, with rising and flipping wordplay: Desire to play Oberon in the school play claws at me. This hunger doesn’t rest, to say out loud in front of everyone, “At a fair vestal thronèd by the west….” To a mirror twin, I exclaim my lines for hours. Audition day I ...
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Cultivating Pippi Longstocking

Neil Martinson

One warm spring afternoon in 1990 I was walking across the Williamsburg Bridge on my way to Manhattan, as I’d done countless times during my years in Brooklyn. A recent, tumultuous breakup was still fresh in my mind, but I was beginning to feel somewhat liberated, enjoying the freedom of finally living alone, and learning to have fun again. The bridge scene from Pippi On The Run flashed into my mind, and in a split second I knew what I had to do. In this movie, the heroine Pippi Longstocking’s indomitable approach to life achieves its peak expression, centering around her ability to achieve anything she wants, often by refusing to accept the impossible. The scene in my mind has Pippi and her two friends Tommy and Annika looking down from a bridge at a steam-engine train chugging along the tracks below. Pippi suggests all three of them jump off the bridge onto the roof of the moving train. Uptight Annika begs her not to do it, bu...
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(a strange awakening of light that takes the place of dawn) – Poems by Jim Feast — REVIEW

Thaddeus Rutkowski

(a strange awakening of light that takes the place of dawn) poems by Jim Feast Autonomedia $16.29 The subtitle for Jim Feast’s latest poetry collection, “Poems for Lady Bunny: Chicago, 1972–1975,” clues us in to the time and place for these basically metrical, mostly long poems. As Feast explains in his introduction, Lady Bunny was a painter who served as his “muse, mentor and she-devil’s advocate.” This book, then, works as a tribute to and elegy for this artist, who died in 1977. Many of the poems are dated in the early to mid-1970s, when Feast was a young man. The book has an attractive cover painting by R. Brown Lethem. In the book’s first poem, “For the Painter, Lady Bunny,” Feast describes one of Bunny’s “compositions” and by doing so sets out his aesthetic purpose: The room draws near to the red beads of rain on the window. The sun settles like a rose covered over in snow. Now ...
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