Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sojourner by Lee Foust, reviewed by me

I've had the pleasure of reading some of these tales, poems and rants repeatedly over the years and watching them amass here and finally be published is a great relief in that a voice releases itself in many voices and the opportunity emerges for everyone to find them in one place opening up into many places and yet held within one's firm grasp as the ride throws you back and forth. It's the grasp of the many idioms here, not alone the languages, that feels along the borders of cities and meets you inside their crumbling and struggling human fortresses, the lapidary leaping over many walls, the scrapes with junkies, the search for homes, the foreigner inside the self, and the nooks in which loves are found, destroyed, scattered, pieced back together, never ever to be whole again, but humanly capable of taking the next step, after all. "Ash Wednesday" comes first to mind as a frightening, erudite sociological horror story about both cultural alienation and rivalry set in some nearly Medieval Venetian snare that symbolizes all too cannily contemporary intrigue. It would take too long to comment on the many other texts and their fascinating temporal oneiric convolutions and deflective humorism so I prefer to cite the opener I have here to hand. "I dreamed I lay in an opium den in the Mission District/of San Francisco last night, drinking a bottle of Scotch/I fell asleep and was awakened/by a belligerent gang of teenagers spoiling for a fight/Instead of fighting/I threw a roll of sourdough bread onto Valencia Street/An ugly water glass fell over and smashed/all of my delicate and beautiful champagne and martini glasses/Then I had to pay up and go home." Such are the illusions of traveling, not to mention of being seduced by the dream of living, abroad, anywhere, when one has to continually deal with catching the bus back to the bed inside one's own head. Think about it: one persons "abroad" is another person's home. Then you take that trip from which you never can return. -JG

                                                         to get your own copy


No comments: