Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I recently purchased "Transparencies," the newest collection by Robert Edwards. I'm only a few pages into it and I can't breath, my heart is pounding and tears obscure my vision. With every line, Edwards confirms that he is among the best poets that every graced the English language -- lines like:

     I face the prairie -- or some kind of ocean --
     the rind of a question mark uneaten in my hand.

     Snide Madonnas total my mistakes,
     bleed me with thin forgiveness, which is to say:
     a dry inertia is tangled in the grass,
     and I smell a dream of the darker stuff

or from the poem, "Getting Drunk on Gravel Roads," --

     Take this to the bank, so say we all:
     every religion is a lie and every patriot a traitor.
     Trust your mother to hate you for being born
     and resent you for the guilt over the hate.
     Officer friendly is a rapist with a government gun,
     and the rich really think you're nothing
     but a dull horse fit for a plow or a hard saddle.
     Saddle by shadow, breath after breath, we
     feel the old certainties die and the new truths
     we wipe from our lips give answers none of us
     have the courage to want. We live in a country
     that was built yesterday not to outlast tomorrow.

Bob Edwards writes about from deep within where we know more that we want to and still have more questions than answers. He writes of working stiffs with bleak possibilities and those "trying to invent a past that held a future." These are powerfully packed verses filled with militancy devoid of dogma -- a deep understanding of who and where we are; the possibilities, the obstacles and the odds.
If you don't purchase another thing this year, Buy this book! It's only $12.00 and I guarantee you won't regret it.


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