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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: Dark Roads by Bruce Boston (Final Part: 6: Circling Back)

Eventually, Boston circles back to home, back to surrealistic mode but changed, darker, carrying his new voice, his new insights on the field after a lifetime of trucking down these darker roads....
"Fire Is the Devil's Only Friend"  
The devil loves destruction (and those of his ilk), but it isn't especially bright or pleasant companion.

"The Changing of the Flesh"  
A tale of overcoming, notable for its dual voices.

"The House Broods over Us"  
Lovely prose poem about house/family relationship that is as intricate and mysterious as myth.

"The Crow Is Dismantled in Flight"  
Another strong poem--well paired to contrast with the above--about a woman-crow and a man who "eats crow."

"The Restaurant That Is No Longer There"  
Memory plays tricks, invents itself where it had never been:
Just like its patrons,
creatures of blatant needs
and transient significance,
who have also succumbed
to time and been changed
by the years passing by. 
Tonight I invite you
to dine at the restaurant
that is no longer there.

"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Vulture"  
A nod to Wallace Stevens concerning long-hated carrion eaters who often bode an  end approaching.

"Dark Rains Here and There"  
Fascinating poem about the muse and symbolic expectations. Dark literature may reap positive effects:
When the dark rains fell
on many different worlds,
here and there,
she learned to live with love 
when life seemed dry and spare
as the [cloudless... high desert] around her,
she found herself watching
for one more dark rain
she could walk in.

"Surreal Fortune"  and "The River Magnus Winds through the Shadow City" and "Thirteen Ways of Looking at and through Hashish"
These last three play out the promise of "Dark Rains Here and There". We return to Boston's surreal origins, but darker (I take the drugs as a metaphor of genre-like dreams, but you can take it at face value). It ends:
Tendrils of illumination
Cling to my thoughts,
Trailing in my wake,
Puzzling to those
Whose paths I cross,
Those ever immersed
In the dull endurance
Of their daily tasks,
Without illusions,
Without perception
Of what lies beyond
The stolid borders
Of the everyday,
Insensate and
Unable to travel
In the domains
Of space and time
And consciousness.

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