05 - Discount Fireworks by Wendy Taylor Carlisle Jul 12, 2008 19:35:10 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on Jul 12, 2008 19:35:10 GMT 2
Wendy Taylor Carlisle
In Discount Fireworks, winner of the 2008 Bernice Blackgrove Award,
Wendy Taylor Carlisle has trained her laser eye on the facts of our lives from a fifties childhood to the exploding contemporary world. From Adam and Eve to the melting glaciers to life in the Andromeda Galaxy, no topic is off-limits. Written with a bow toward the formal elements, FYI there are sonnets here, Discount Fireworks' hallmark is plain speaking. Prepare to be entertained and amazed by its out-of-the world world.
On the left, the Atchafalaya, so black, so burnt inside, silent
as a pot. Down here, our lips equal silt
and common bliss. Down here, we carry our graves folded
in our pockets, a cardboard hunger, a box and shards.
The woman beside me in this food line wears a skintight skirt,
has a back door man. Down south, we have the right
to costumes and gossip, to numbers and pawn. Down south,
we observe the bendable rules that stand in for bone.
Below Missouri, we have a chicory bias. Low blues and Jolie Blonde
are the national anthem. Down here, I learned
acoustics from Professor Longhair, religion from
the Mardi Gras Gods, patience in February’s saxophone wind.
Like Buckwheat and the Meters, I adjust my heart-
beat to the pulse of the tune. Despite the hunter,
I am the snake half of the gator. Despite the facts
of jazz, I'm as romantic as a bad house band.
I still think of salvation every time.
Night Train. Sugar cane. Soufflé. Etouffé.
The key to muddy silence is under my tongue.
Where your world gapes open, darlin,’ I shiver in.
Praise for Discount Fireworks:
"With startling elegance and grit, the poems in Discount Fireworks skewer our follies and triumphs and the everydays in between. In a voice uniquely American, Carlisle reworks the mundane icons of our lives, from Dairy Queens to barbeque to Keds, with relentless imagery—'a ferment of skirts,' 'a life as real as paint,—underscored by Gospel, rock and roll, and the blues. Passionate, controlled, and tinged with awe, these are poems you'll want to take home in the palm of your hand."
—Jo McDougall is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Satisfied with Havoc. Among her awards are a DeWitt Wallace/Reader's Digest Award, and Arkansas's Porter Fund Literary Prize.
"Wendy Carlisle is a reader's dream. Her music is funny, sexy, surprising, taking the sorrow out of the everyday world. Her poems illuminate the words in our language. They dish out a wide range of emotions which become nearer and dearer each page. Sensual and literate, Discount Fireworks will turn poetry into a brisk trade."
—Grace Cavalieri, "The Poet and the Poem," now from the Library of Congress, celebrating thirty-one years on public radio.
"Wendy Carlisle's poems come out wearing their red shoes and ready to dance. The lives she sketches flames underfoot so the soles of your feet are 'burned like little suns,' and when we read this book of grace and empathy 'we are assured there will be sparks, then /blasts and blowups, offerings of flame and dust /and riots of colored stars dropped across /summer and winter skies, a heavenly display /to bring us joy beyond the ordinary.'"
—Tony Barnstone, poet and translator and editor of The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry, has published three books of poetry and one chapbook. His Golem of Los Angeles won the Benjamin Saltman Award.
About the author:
Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in Texas (and sometimes Arkansas) with her husband David, and their dog and cat, Marcel Proust and Paul Verlaine.
She is the author of Discount Fireworks, Jacaranda Press, 2008, Reading Berryman To The Dog, Jacaranda Press 2000. She is included in the anthologies: Athens Avenue, (Funky Dog Press: 1999), Affirming Flame: Writings By Progressive Texas Poet In The Aftermath Of September 11th, ed. Jennifer Margulies, (Evelyn Street Press, 2002), The Poets Grimm, (Storyline Press, 2003), Is This Forever, Or What?: Poems and Paintings from Texas, ed. Naomi Shihab Nye, Greenwillow Books, 2004, and Letters to the World, (Red Hen Press, 2007.) Her chapbook, After Happily Ever After, was published as #15 in the 2River Chapbook Series. Read more poems on-line:
The HyperTexts: tinyurl.com/6j37pm
ISBN 978-1-884516-15-3, 80 pages, $12.95
Jacaranda Press, San Jose, California (2008)
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Jacaranda Press; www.jacarandapress.org/