The house next door
burned down that summer
and was torn apart.
Even the foundation
was coming out.
We lived so close,
a lilac tree touched both houses.
One side of it burned.
from In the Easement of Absent Ties
Dan Peters’ words are this lilac tree. They have the sweetness and smoke we slowly come to see as our lives. All our houses will be touched and the touch will help us make more of our lives. –Kevin Miller
Daily life following the epic. Beginning with the courage of truth, Dan Peters starts his second book, where the first one left off. Building on his epic poem that became his first chapbook, Peters constructs The Reservoir through chronology. As he says, What we hold, holds us; the reservoir fills as it empties. He could have safely chosen to put the big poem in the center of the book. He didn't do that. He builds his book through the spirituality of his daily life, living with loss, becoming a teacher and husband, finding his voice. A sHADOWmARK at Blue Begonia Press, he left to pursue the poem.
His story includes a famous teacher, Barry Grimes. In the process of his return, the apprentice becomes a peer. The result is The Reservoir. The title appears three times in the course of these poems. In the epic poem, it is a radiator on an overheating pickup that needs repeated refilling. In the third appearance, it is a desert lake not far from his childhood home. In between, the image is found in a poem written on the last day of student teaching. Peters reports to his mentor on John Coltrane's legendary performance at the Village Vanguard: When they asked Coltrane how his band could make up a fifteen/ minute masterpiece on the spot, he shrugged and guessed they/worked from the big reservoir that we all dip out of. We trust him because he tells it like it is. – Jim Bodeen
0-911287-49-3 paper $14.00
IN THE EASEMENT OF ABSENT TIES
We should begin the day with clear water
and a new start,
not these first signs of rot.
But we don’t.
From In the Easement of Absent Ties
After years of living with the poem, and walking with it, Dan Peters’ literary career begins with this epic poem. –Jim Bodeen
This is a book that had to be written. Its point of focus is an accident, the type of instant that makes what we know come apart. Although this incident is unique, the story will seem familiar.
Peters has found medicine after ten years of looking at, and one year of writing about, the accident, or exceptional events in his life, by drawing from the ordinary. In a letter to a friend, one in a series that guides us through the poem, the narrator appeals to his reader, Don’t get me wrong. None of this is new. In fact, the main thing/ I’ve learned is nearly everyone comes to believe in the sort of/ crosshatched world/ I’m trying to get across.
Handmade / handsewn $10.00
Signed. 200 copies