GO HERE for more poems, etc – WRITINGS OF DEAN BAKER
Those who don’t buy my books have Van Gogh’s ear for music
What are people talking about. Everywhere I go they whisper.
They stick their eyes at me, right at the base of the breastbone,
when I’m not looking.
The breastbone seems flat, pointed like a dagger to the top
of my stomach.
O, my stomach, my stomach… when the knife rips you open
it will find coffee and four strips of bacon, pieces of chewed
beard and a handwritten note saying I have left town forever
– excerpt from his brilliant work, Lies, 1972 and from A Long Continual Argument, The Selected Poems of John Newlove
John was a friend of mine – yet I had only said hello back him when I heard him read this live one time at York University. I’d been searching for the room in which the reading was to be held, and came around a corner to come face-to-face with him, and Joe Rosenblatt.
The mothership: http://deanjbaker.wordpress.com
Patrick Lane, a great Canadian poet. In the tradition of Al Purdy, and Charles Bukowski for those who are unfamiliar with great Poetry. The designation I use – the Canadian part, anyway – to specify country of origin.
Of course as to great and to a degree greatly unremarked poets except or even including within the country of their origins I would have to also mention Kenneth Patchen, whose book The Journal Of Albion Moonlight is not strictly poetry yet is poetry at the core. Something along the lines of Louis Ferdinand Celine‘s Journey To The End Of The Night, or his great Death On The Installment Plan. A few books, along with Djuna Barne‘s Nightwood and a few of Anais Nin‘s, with Blaise Cendrar’s ought to be de rigeur reading ( especially so his Moravagine).
Now of course these have nothing directly to do with Patrick Lane, but they are indicative of what greatness inspires in the fact of a joyful association and the discoveries made along the way.
One of his poems from The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane
I’m smoking one of his cigars tonight
after this one
there’s only one left
a pack of cigars
swagger-stick from the First War
and nothing else
legacies from the old man.
Once in all his eighty years
I saw him – father of my father,
passing my father to me
in one sudden moment
of a prairie night
and I sit here and smoke his cigar tonight
while I clean his earthly hairs
from the razor
sit and smoked
sit and consume legacies
Aslo, you might take note of his memoir – What The Stones Remember: A Life Rediscovered of which a few comments are:
“To read this book is to enter a state of enchantment.”—Alice Munro
“Patrick Lane has written a memoir of heartbreaking struggle that manages to be beautiful and encouraging, finding anchorage in what was once called Creation, the natural world and its unstinting promise of renewal.”—Thomas McGuane
“A tough, lovely book.”—Margaret Atwood
So do look for his work, and enjoy a great Canadian poet. Patrick Lane. Take note that there is even a book where 55 poets celebrate his work: https://www.amazon.com/Because-You-Loved-Being-Stranger/dp/1550171011