Drawn and Quartered Moon by klipschutz
This Drawn & Quartered Moon by klipschutz (© 2013 Anvil Press), is shining with life, understanding, and fun. I’ve enjoyed klipschutz (pen name of Kurt Lipschutz) in performance and in print. The titles of his three previous books are indeed telling: Twilight of the Male Ego, The Good Neighbor Policy, and one of my favorite all time titles, The Erection of Scaffolding for the Re-Painting of Heaven by the Lowest Bidder.
Klipschutz never hesitates to re-paint the heaven of our imaginations as he happily introduces us to various slices of his cosmos. First section of the book is called, ONCOMING FOOT TRAFFIC, and the reader is swept away in the noise and the bustle. First poem, “In Memory of Myself,” is a Whitmanesque auto-bio put-on of the poet alive in San Francisco. “O when will you embrace your blinking nipples, San Francisco….” celebrates the local in situ delight in the erotic and the wild.
In “Pages from a Courting Chronicle: Someday I’m Gonna Make Her Mine” is all about the poet’s peculiar yardstick on Sunday morning in bed with his lover.
…”I am too taller than you
in heels, my nose is higher than yours.”
as we stood there in the club.
Maybe we are getting shorter.
Maybe none of the Beatles were.
I draw myself up to my full horizontal height,
grazing softly somewhere soft.
“Leave Ringo alone,” she says,….
There is nothing that touches life klipschutz doesn’t share generously with the reader.
THE GIRL IN THE BLACK DRESS ends with a stylistic noir masterpiece called a “Slab of Consciousness”: one to four word statements in a solid block of life. Here’s just a bite from that poem.
Semen. And if so? His lawyer says: con-sen-su-al. Breathing
She stopped breathing. People do. Husband. Father of two
daughters. Record, none. Party girl. Hard stuff. Her friends:
No way. Ahead. Of her. Whole life. And him? Paths crossed.
The poet worked many years in the legal world and consequently, knows what a fact is and what it is not and the facts each reader puts between the lines.
Beginning THE GIRL IN THE BLACK DRESS, a section exploring characters from all over the place, “Washington, D.C., 1863” treats with gentleness America’s two finest gentlemen, Walt Whitman and President Lincoln, whose understanding paths often crossed as this fourth stanza observes:
Walt Whitman, now a regular sight
(I loiter, sing, assume), they took to exchanges
of bows, of nods, and very cordial ones,
each to his station (a wise hat knows its head),
as the blood tide slowly turned in the War Between the States.
ELVIS THE FIRST is one long five section poem that spins magnificently without saying.
NUMBER NINE: A PRESIDENTIAL SUITE, is superb political and social commentary section with generous scoops, delicious and not-so-delicious, about those presidents who built those hair raising curves in our national path. “The Brothers K” begins with this stanza:
A dynasty that never was…
“They shot them boys like state fair ducks,”
I think I read somewhere.
Nikita Loves Fidel !
wrote on the toilet wall of Air Force One,
a tenured professor told me in a bar.
“Futures (October 29, 2008),” says it all so well and it is truly scary. Here’s first half of the poem:
“Snow globes shake like castanets.”
Nostradamus said it better, said it first.
In my recurring nightmare we’re immersed.
The deck is marked? Since always, I’m all in.
One share, one vote, one wild card to win.
Future futures go on sale next Tuesday.
Past pasts are blooded over. See you at 16th & Mission.
The grey hound plays old tricks for pole position,
Racing to the bottom of the age.
Our new and improved national nightmare needs a break.
The NUMBERED HEARTS section is all about words and the trouble they get us in to: Ouch. The titles of the poems are masterpieces absolute: “Mr. Inside Clears the Room,” “The Plagiarist Hones His Apologia,” “The Unknown Lyrist’s Easter Sunday Sermon to Himself,” and “Rounder” (a bowling ball’s exquisite apologia). More ominous than life itself the poems in toto ravish the soul.
This vibrant collection concludes with THE ETERNAL PRESENT. This section sobers the reader up, and at the same time, makes the reader glad to be sober. “The Red Wheelbarrow of Fortune” pats William Carlos Williams on the ass: “We are all in constant motion/Even as we sit and wait/Deep inside we tick like watches/Never stopping, always late….” to conclude “The wind is up—so much depends….” The poem,“Housepaint Is Thicker than Water,” wraps with “I locked in, thinking what, fool, now—/expecting to be flattened any second./Now I know everybody is.” “The Eternal Present” concludes, but only for a minute, “All heaven breaks loose in the basement./Pressed roses float to freedom./Don’t we all?”
I award This Drawn & Quartered Moon by klipschutz my best recommendation: if you read just one poem each day, you will be who you are long before the end of the book.
This Drawn & Quartered Moon by klipschutz (© 2013 Anvil Press, www.anvilpress.com), ISBN 978-1-927380-45-1, 124 pages, $18.