Marie Lecrivain reviews Hunger Crossing by Larry Colker and Danielle Grilli
© 2006, Larry Colker and Danielle Grilli
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A poet cannot be a poet without
writing about love: lost love; unrequited love; love gone wrong; hot,
steamy animalistic sex. Even those poets (and there are many) who eschew
the actual experience will inevitably find the lure of extrapolating on
any of the above-mentioned scenarios too strong to resist. In Hunger
Crossing (copyright 2006 Larry Colker and Danielle Grilli),
Colker, and Grilli have come together to intersect their shared
experiences (though not necessarily with each other), of what love has
done to them and how it has refined and reformatted their poetic psyches.
Colker's concrete poetry filters
the longing for love through the lenses of regret ("Apology"),
Celtic animus ("Legend"), and entomology ("Fornix").
This is an almost perfect foil to Grilli's sensuous ("Kiss"),
universal feminist ("Language of My Body"), though abstractive
poesy ("Miss Bliss"). As for the intersections, they are not so
apparent at first, but they are there, if one is willing to seek
them out by sorting through the poetry in a deliciously random fashion.
This is possible because of the actual physical appearance of Hunger;
a small post-industrial folio that contains 17 poems printed in sepia
tones on semi-transparent heat treated paper decorated with extreme
close-ups of eyes, wheat stalks, and geometric shapes. The clever
avant-garde packaging places Hunger in the "hard to shelve
next to other volumes of poetry in one's own library" category, but
renders this collaboration impossible to ignore, both in form and content.
Back to the matter at hand - the
aforementioned intersections of longing expressed in the poets' work. Take
for example Colker's poem, "LYRIC," an impassioned plea for the
opportunity to be dragged out of a humdrum existence to experience a
fleeting moment of mind-blowing ecstasy, and not just to hold onto the
moment, but to come back to re-live it:
MISBEGOTTEN FOOL OF INKLINGS
POOLS OF INK
THINGS CANNOT BE CLEAR...
A MESS OF HORMONES
OR LESS BECALMED
A MONTH OF DOG DAYS
ME UP, I SAYS,
ME OUT OF THESE STICKS
A CHANCE TO
TO MAKE THEM
& ROLL SNAKE
OR HARD SEX
I WILL SAILAWAY
THE CRAFT OF YOUR LOVE,
HIGH AND MIGHTY AND
THE MOON EXPLODES
WHOLE NEW SET OF STARS.
WHEN ETERNITY ARRIVES
ITS ARTIFICIAL RESURRECTION KIT
I WILL RETURN AGAIN AND AGAIN
SWEET LOWING COWS SWINGS BY
CARRY ME HOME.
Though the longing for completion in "LYRIC" is articulated in more physical terms, the longing for completion and the desperate anticipation of waiting is delicately expressed in Grilli's poem "Silent":
Tongue of Jasmine
of Sun struck blindly
await creak of door
this terrestrial eden
beyond rush of traffic
of exacted stone
a whispered echo
a foggy distance
gather small gods
One wants; one yearns; sometimes one get what one wants, and then looks back over the course of one's actions to discover that the moments of actual wanting and desire have been wrought sweeter through the fog of memory. Hunger Crossing is a successful collaboration that honestly communicates this deeply felt, universal concept. And on a more personal note, Hunger would make a lovely and affordable gift to non-poets as a way to introduce them to some well crafted contemporary writing.
review by Marie Lecrivain, executive editor of poeticdiversity
Colker's poems have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, RATTLE,
Spillway, ONTHEBUS, Solo, Pearl, Cider Press Review, Blue Satellite and
elsewhere in print; online at The Cortland Review, King Log,
nthposition, Poeticdiversity and Poetry Super Highway;
and in anthologies from Tebot Bach, Valley Contemporary Poets, Arroyo Arts
Collective and poeticdiversity. In 2003 he published his chapbook What
the Lizard Knows: New and Selected Poems. In 2005 he was nominated for
a Pushcart Prize.
Danielle Grilli is a poet and visual artist, and a former
poetry editor for the Muse
Apprentice Guild. Her work has been published in a variety
of journals and webzines including The Pedestal, Unlikely
Stories, small spiral notebook, and Big Bridge.
Hunger Crossing, copyright 2006, Larry Colker and Danielle Grilli, 17 poems, $ 5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase and payment instructions.
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