By Mark Eisner
This book is a forest of love, the richness grown from the shared familiar roots in the fertile Spanish soil of poetry, then spread around the world.
This remarkable forest is a trove of love, grown from shared roots, originating in the fertile Spanish tierra de poesia. The love of a daughter translating her father’s words for all eternity, published just at his death. A renaissance man, and his daughter, a renaissance woman, all of their wonders, all of their life, all of their art now fused together even more through the act of translation. Both have placed their lives in the service of poetry, and it shows. José Manuel’s poetry is informed by the generation in Spain just before him –– Lorca, Machado, it’s evident in the flavors he evokes –– but he takes the baton to create his own voice, inspiring and insightful voice, propelling yet grounding, salted by his experience in political exile.
Above all, “Ode to a Young Mariner” moved me the most, its qualities emblematic of what makes this book work so well. The poem dedicated to the poet’s brother, who at the same time is the translator’s uncle –– movingly and convincingly so that it rowed my heart with warm, resonating, lingering strokes: the endearment and respect for a sibling, the duty as a mariner like the duty as a poet, the reverence that roots this family, the love that lights the words, the woods of this book.
And what a treat for those who don’t read Spanish to be able to have this collection of this truly special poet’s work finally available, accessible for their easy enrichment.
You can find the book here: https://amzn.to/2w8e5kV
Mark Eisner has spent most of the past two decades working on creative works related to Pablo Neruda. They include Neruda: The Biography of a Poet (Ecco, 2018), a finalist for the PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography. He also edited and was one of the principal translators for The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights, 2004) and is currently producing a documentary film on the poet. A bilingual anthology of Latin American Poetry in Resistance Eisner co-edited is forthcoming in 2020. More info at www.markeisner.net.
Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life has just been released by Alien Buddha Press.
What Others Say About Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life
“g emil reutter writes the poem the way I like it – sharp, detailed imagery, paintings in black ink carved into the page – the minutiae of life under the microscope. There’s clarity and depth here in this book but there’s power too – the power to move the mind and the soul. These words are fine words. My kind of poems. They should be yours too.” -Adrian Manning- Poet and Publisher at Concrete Meat Press
“Beneath dark shadows of maples, this watcher observes unnamed strangers and lovers beneath a generous moon, sympathetically and precisely with the eye of an oil painter. The night turns to day, the seasons change, and the cycles renew. A fine collection for any palate”. – Russell Streur – Editor, The Plum Tree Tavern
In Eating Raw Meat, g emil reutter proclaims, “I stand on the rubble that is left / of the American dream”; looking out from that prospect, he tells us, “I think of the hard working class.” Yet, even as these poems show us hard labor and trashed dreams, reutter affirms how close attention to those lives and to the natural world serves to redeem us on this “beautiful brutal blue planet.” “I work the / garden the way I work a poem,” he tells us; and, centered among existences, “I … listen to what they say, watch what they do and write what I can.” This attention results in poems of integrity and of beauty: “rhythm / of rain, cadence of thunder, lyrical / hissing of wind.”
-Nathalie F. Anderson – Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of English Literature and Director of the Program in Creative Writing – Swarthmore College
Check out the book here: Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life
g emil reutter is a writer of stories and poems. His latest release is: Stale Bread and Coffee
Congratulations to North of Oxford contributor Stephen Page on the release of his new book, The Salty River Bleeds !
Praise for The Salty River Bleeds
The Salty River Bleeds is a juicy tale in verse that draws us into the teeming world of a large Argentinian ranch. This world is populated by herds of horses and cows, nefarious ranch hands, foxes, bees, bats, parrots, carnivorous ants, Andean flamingoes, cattle rustlers, horse thieves, to name but a few of its many denizens. The narrative reveals the complicated web of woes in the life of a land manager, the tyranny of weather patterns, and one man’s battle against the encroachment of pesticides. In this world, nature’s staggering beauty and naked brutality are constantly in evidence. A stallion “learns the phases of grass.” Trucks struggle through “the butter of mud.” Cows can explode with bloat, and rain that the narrator prays will be called down from the sky by the croaking of tree frogs can make or break you. As its title suggests, The Salty River Bleeds is packed with the drama of birth, death and eternal conflict.
–Amy Gerstler, author of Bitter Angel
The Salty River Bleeds is ambitious in its scope and its execution, with a relevance to contemporary environmental issues. Stephen Page deftly combines poetry, prose, and letters…and relies on highly refined, compressed imagistic language and strong character development to tell his tale.
–Jim Daniels, author of Places Everyone
The Salty River Bleeds is a continuation of the story of Jonathan and Teresa that Stephen Page began in A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. These poems speak of the visceral life of farming on a fictional ranch in Argentina. Page’s narrative is a journey of perseverance through a physical and psychological wilderness where loveliness and brutality abide together. Here, the likes of a raw and wet “afterbirth slopped into a steamy pile” leads to the mother straining to “stare at her calf until breath raised its ribs.” Page walks us through vulture-ravaged carcasses into pastures and wood and marsh; walks us into the solace of bees, mockingbirds and “a flock of black ibis” that “lift/and cloud away.” This is poetry told with an unflinching, yet reverent eye.
–Carolyn Welch, author of The Garden of Fragile Beings
The Salty River Bleeds is equal parts parable and fable, examining humankind’s destructive and self-defeating tendencies, particularly with regard to caring for the land human beings and animals rely on. Here where the Salty River bleeds, you will find that Myth swims, Old Man lingers on your peripheral vision only to disappear, and Black Dog follows you into the mythic Wood. On the ranch, you will encounter Tattler, Excuse Maker, and Bad Guy, archetypal figures standing in for all those whose motives are to be questioned. By turns imaginative and inventive, gritty and grisly, gorgeous and ephemeral, this is a book that will linger long after you have finished. There are inherent truths laid bare here that we would all do well to pay heed.
–Cati Porter, author of Seven Floors Up
In Stephen Page’s The Salty River Bleeds, the spiritual journey of Jonathan continues from A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Looking for a story to explain his life, Jonathan meditates on nature, in particular Wood, a place of testing, a place of mysteries ripe to be discovered, and the people who work his land without reverence. With an observant eye for detail, Page brings together striking images of the elements of earth and human life that become both obstacles to and medium through which the speaker of these poems understands his world.
–Caroline Malone, author of Dark Roots
Stephen Page’s The Salty River Bleeds is a pastoral and violent account of ranch life. His poetic collection blends agricultural and rustic contention with eco-rural insight and directness. His delivery is candid and un-floral, thus bestowing the music of his perception an energy of seized quotidian acuity. These poems dare the readers to care about the animals, the daily activities of surviving rurally, and the grammar of the land exploited by genetic modified commerce and industrialization. The work invites the geography of natural breeding life to marry the perennial charm of ranch hardship. There, in his work, exists the sensual preservation of humanity, but also diurnal desires. Page’s bucolic poems “may take you to an unlit alley at night” or “sound like buckets of water being poured on the corrugated roof.” Regardless of the rustic tempo his work imbues you, through Page’s percipient, omniscient eyes, we see and hear everything he observes and feels and yearns. Like sheep hides “salted in the transit room” – Page’s work is designed to ambush us, not with the forcefulness or melancholy of existence, but, as seen here, with the authoritative authenticity of his persistent fervor.
–Vi Khi Nao, author of Fish in Exile
Stephen Page’s The Salty River Bleeds is a collection of connections. Page explores relationships, ethics, and economy through environmental images that ooze the intricacies of farm life. His thoughtful, sensory-rich prose and varied expressions of poetic form delve into the inner workings of losses and discoveries.
–Savannah Slone, Author of Hearing the Underwater
Stephen Page is a true poetic chronicler of the complex business of ranching, that mythic journey. The Salty River Bleeds is iconic storytelling; a hybrid of poems, letters, and prose. Filled with rich images, “wood walks” and myth finding. “Life takes you into some unplanned territory.” Follow Page and we are “wading into wheat” and “working all week to save the corn.” The tractor is broken, the fences need mending, but still we are watching and waiting for Old Man walking by the side of the road, the one who never stops. Follow Page into his dreamscape of visceral reality to satisfy a curiosity, an unspoken desire.
–Elaine Fletcher Chapman, author of Hunger for Salt
In The Salty River Bleeds, Stephen Page poetically and unapologetically reveals the real, harsh truths of running a ranch in Argentina. Johnathan’s daily stressors, created by unreliable employees, weather, and Teresa’s greedy son, Damien, find us anxiously watching him “run across pastures with my sword / Raised, looking for someone to decapitate.” Page softens Johnathan’s persona by peppering the pages with love, beauty, mate, and the whimsy of Wood and Myth as “A wooddove pops / its wings as it departs eucalypti mist auraed by / a vanilla sunrise.” The juxtaposition of the hard and the soft leaves us with a longing to know how Jonathan and Teresa’s story ends. The Fauna of this collection proves to be a mesmerizing sequel to the Flora of the initial introduction of Johnathan and Teresa in his earlier collection, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River.
–Laurie Higi, author of The Universe of Little Beaver Lake
Alien Buddha Press has just released, Stale Bread and Coffee, by contributing editor, g emil reutter. The book is available for purchase at this link:
“As always g emil reutter has the ability to pull us into his world where he conjures up images of late night streets, broken relationships, and men who are on the edge of life and lost in America’s backwaters.” – James D Quinton, (1977-2012), Open Wide Magazine
“The colloquial voice of g emil reutter rises from the valley, circles back through years of close observation with a steady eye. There’s nothing trumped up in these poems, nothing inflated into transcendence. Here life is as it is for the line worker, the waitress, the cop, the perp or the barroom guys. These are the common folk who live in the service alleys of any Camelot, sketched in a subdued cadence whose unadornment honors their lives and does not weary of seeing their glimmer through the tarnish.” – Poet J.C. Todd – What Space This Body
By Lynette G. Espositio
John Goode’s Beauty and the Unrequited Landscape published by Rain Mountain Press is an image-laden delight of poems that visualize, conceptualize and realize perception from different but common landscapes.
This continues on through the four parts of the 104 pages of poems followed by an interview with Goode where he discusses motivation and technique.
Goode continues to visualize and conceptualize his poems even in the titles from as simple as Unemployed to Elegy for a Tree in a Poem Written by a Young Woman Sitting at the Bar. His poems, like his titles, vary in length. Some are one stanza and some are several pages. I find this detail of form gives support to the themes. Most are free verse/blank verse in narrative form. In the five stanza poem The Riot of Waitresses, the first lines set a contemporary situation: The girls at work are giving birth to televisions without doctors. From page 87 to page 94, the narrator discusses the thwarted plans of women with their breasts trapped in their boyfriends’ hands like pigeons. Goode juxtaposes common images with an unorthodox landscape. Breasts, boyfriends, pigeons…I love it.
The reader begins through the visualization to realize something special is happening. Goode is able to make a point or points by choosing common understandings that expand out to fresh perceptions on how life works in suggestive images that conjure many interpretations.
The poems are consistently both interesting and surprising. In A Note From My Boss on page 95, Goode uses the letter format and uses the salutary Dear Jude to make a point.
The first line gives real sarcastic attitude please wipe up the Lysol carcasses. This memo to the boss ends with authority: Thank-you and no signature. How impersonal is this as a reference to real life workers and how effective in a poem. Thank-you, John….Yours Lynette.
Beauty and the Unrequited Landscape is available from www.rainmountainpress.com
Lynette G. Esposito has been an Adjunct Professor at Rowan University, Burlington County and Camden County Colleges. She has taught creative writing and conducted workshops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mrs. Esposito holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois and an MA in Creative Writing and English Literature from Rutgers University. Her articles have appeared in the national publication, Teaching for Success; regionally in South Jersey Magazine, SJ Magazine. Delaware Valley Magazine, and her essays have appeared in Reader’s Digest and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her poetry has appeared in US1, SRN Review, The Fox Chase Review and other literary magazines. She has critiqued poetry for local and regional writer’s conferences and served as a panelist and speaker at local and national writer’s conferences. She lives with her husband, Attilio, in Mount Laurel, NJ.