THE LONESOME BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT
After the war, the blasted out buildings, the broken
Crater-roads, the encampments and harbors and dust.
Men hobbled home and hunched, with hands larger
Than their faces, and women, after all fatigue…
from The Fourth of July
“These poems cling fiercely to their images,” Cal Kinnear writes in the Afterward. “These poems are concerned with the music they make.”
Photographs by Jake Seniuk.
71 pages 6 x 9
ISBN 0-911287-14-0 (paper) $10.00
LEE BASSETT: THE POEMS 1973-2000
Some say sparrows are stories;
They return in the brain and change
With the telling,
When the facts get grim.
Some suggest that after death,
Birds quietly enter our bloodstream
And make us want to travel.
from Lucy and the Blue Quail
Here are small, beautifully continuous sequences of poems, a big poetry of sharp focus, of tracts of darkness, a poetry of constellations, constantly in transformation. Bassett does not try to hold his poems down in one place; he pushes them out to keep in touch with the sensuous, primitive, initial rhythms of our lives.
Meanings wobble, grow, burst, shift as we read. That is the music of passion and loneliness, of the frightening intensity of a love which anchors the whole book, in an almost religious mystery.
It is important to point out that the poems themselves move by touch, by feel, as though nothing else is possible. The attempt is not the elimination of suffering, but rather the correct means of welcoming it quietly.
Cover painting “Poetry Reading” by Milton Avery
Ink drawings by Ed Cain
ISBN: 0-911287-34-5 paper $15.00
NEWS FROM PAST-MISTAKES HERMITAGE—a chapbook by Lee Bassett. 10 poems as interesting as the title. A title selected by Yellowstone Art Project as one of the best regional poetry books. Type is Kennerly. Cover by Robert Sotello.