I love going to the mail box and being surprised by a package containing a new book by a friend. I've received two books over the past few days:
...by John Martone, self-published
"String Parade"...by Jordan Stempleman, BlazeVOX [books]
"all saints" is a small, 4.25 X 5.5, handmade chapbook of light green Cambric Linen 65 lb. cover with black tape neatly covering the stapled spine. The inside ends pieces are delicate lavender handmade Japanese paper. The inside pages 24 lb. Cambric Linen Natural. The tactile experience coincides with the delicate poetry of a writer who has disciplined mind and spirit to note only what is essential in a poem. John Martone's work is one of those secret finds I could only hope for prior to getting acquainted. Light falls from the pages of his book.
all these old couples
out for a walk
the young ones
- John Martone, from "all saints"
"String Parade" by Jordan Stempleman is a BlazeVOX [books] production, 6 X 9, four color process, acquias coated, C1S cover. I'm assuming the cover is a Geoffrey Gatza design, the books is, I don't see a credit otherwise. Anyway, all hail BlazeVOX [books] for kicking and screaming and surviving the economy (the best revenge is to do well and Geoffrey certainly is). I love the cover design. "String Parade" is maroon (you want the PMS number?) PenultimateLight typeface on a 1.25 inch black background above a half inch white bar bearing Jordan's name margin-right above the cover photo: a headless mannequin sitting on a crystal looking construction, in a hot pink, short gown clasping her hands together, her white 'skin' in contrast to the hot pink and Op-art design on the wall behind her (the colors on the wall match the book title).
Why do I bother with all that description? Well, it's the first hint of what's inside, a well crafted book of poems with a view of language as surprising as a well dressed, headless mannequin.
and the weather
as it comes
as it seems
able and nowhere
taken from towns
for some time
until picked up
where others live
where they go
and moving in
Each of the 38 poems is dedicated to a person. I'm left wondering if each dedication is Jordan's nod to the people he knows or a riff on dedicating poems in general. Could be both knowing Jordan. Anyway, I've only just begun to read his book which arrived today. I expect a rocking good time.