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John Brown: reviews

The Alberta Street Anthology: Volume One

Nice cover. Dim set. Alberta Street sign across slab siding, hung with unlit Christmas lights. Pabst Blue Ribbon in window, glowing like the one street lamp, far above, strangely concealing the bus stop, line 72. I could almost auger up the archaic image of Portland past. Those chestnuts, in mini skirts, hidden secrets in green pools. Olive skinned nomads with black ink dancing on their arms, silver in their faces, through tongues. Reading nightmare before rain, coming off pessimistic lips, zig zag grin, down beat, narcissus spit. Grim vortexes harrowing fatalistic hopelessness. The black haired, white skinned, in the dusky beatnik cap and impenetrable glasses, leading life as a lake, hidden in the crux of two mountains whose bare arms adorn pine and birch, bears as black as the jacket they wear. These leather oiled dragons, preaching lyrical numbness, choking on cataclysmic eruption. Dire in the star of eye, like melancholy in a cat.

I liked about two poems, maybe three, that really hit the spot like Mango Dream Soy Cream -- but I read the outdated model from 2006, which proved to be as devastating as the poetry for my instinct to buy more.
The reviews in the back of the book helped lighten the mood by offering comic relief. In alphabetical order, the contributors squirted out bits about what each considered most poignant in suggesting who they really are, without really saying, if you know what I mean --because I don't.
That's ok, it was true to the aura, and I suggest reading the blib before or after each individuals work --adds to the sadistic tone and disquiet of syntax. I am glad to say, it was the thought that counts. It did me wonders to know that there are other poets out there still indulging in the abstract, mulling over the concrete, possibly sucking on the juices, but never swallowing!
Broken Word - John Brown Reviews (Jul 13, 2009)