Friday, January 27, 2012


Among the books I'm reading, I just finished poet and friend Burt Kimmelamn's latest, THE WAY WE LIVE. [full and obvious disclosure: Burt did the interview with me that was recently published in Jacket and you can click on to the right] He's a scholar and professor and a close observer of the details of life as he experiences it.

THE WAY WE LIVE is a small collection of poems that capture those details in quietly lyric ways as seemingly ephemeral as the moments they record. But they're deceptively so. In fact, the poet, who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in Jersey, has a lifetime of experiences that belie the quietude of his poetry. It's like how really tough guys don't have to act tough, or really smart ones don't have to always be showing off their brains, etc.

Here's two examples of the restrained artistry of the poetry in THE WAY WE LIVE:


Cutting board, knife, bread
crumbs in dawn light—she
stood and ate beside
the kitchen sink, then
got back into bed.

Alhambra Steps

Leaving the palace
we descend the steep
stone stairs arm in arm—
you pulling me down,
me holding you up.


JIm said...
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Anonymous said...

Beautiful poems! I will look for Kimmelman's work.
Chris Mason

Lally said...

Glad to hear that Chris, and thanks for checking in.