02 March 2006

births & deaths

a double beginning. embed'd in the premiere issue of Red Mountain Review is the first chapbook of Charles Jensen   Little Burning Edens. in the first stanza of the first of 20 poems: "I am my own death." in the last stanza of the last poem: "a sun rises like deadly fevers." & in between: "There are dead boys / inside us right now."

these are poems abt "dirty kisses"   "dirty needles"   "dirty world." my first reading of this dark collection left me wanting to devour a box of truffles. these are poems that reflect a century of concentration camps   nuclear games   AIDS. but as bleak as the poet's world view I still mine delight in his language:

    The lick of the river
reminds the eye of the flick
of tongues, the sudden thrust
that parts lips.

I find tumescence of image:

We can never forgive
their ambulance of lips that rushed
over the body like a city
in seige, taking vitals wherever
they found a pulse buried deep.

Charles Jensen is a poet to watch.

1 comment:

Charles said...

I didn't realize until you posted it how often the speaker of those poems feels, in some ways, "already dead," or doomed.

These words are far too kind—thank you.

(and ps. the full-length manuscript version has much more hope to it than the chapbook might let on...)