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Archive for the ‘Propaganda Press’ Category

Poetry Package by Hosho McCreesh

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It’s a rare treat nowadays if I happen to have a few bucks in my pocket to spend on luxuries.  When I do, I always buy a book.  If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of Propaganda Press, because their poetry chaps are awesome, and the prices are low.   Even a broke ass hick like me can buy when payday rolls around.  That’s what I call poetry for the people.

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Here’s my latest treasure from Propaganda Press–a Deluxe Poetry Package featuring the work of Hosho McCreesh.

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Hosho McCreesh is an excellent poet and artist.  He’s one of those poets whose work I order without hesitation if I have any money.  I was especially happy to find out that in addition to his newest chapbook, I could order a package that contains “extra goodies.”  Yep, that’s a picture of it above.  I felt like a kid in a candy store when my copies arrived this week.  Here’s everything that comes in the package:

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* A 92 page chapbook (1/4 page size):   An Adamant, Unmitigated Hope Even Amidst The Doom… by Hosho McCreesh. The cover art is by Sean Lynch of Ten Point Design and wraps around both front and back covers.

*A powerful broadside poem signed by Hosho McCreesh.

*A small (2 1/4″ x 2 3/4″) pocket book, 4th Street Vagaries by Hosho McCreesh, filled with  poems and photographs.  I love the small pocket books, and this one is…I’m trying to think of a better word than awesome to describe it.

*A magnet that is a laser-printed full-color reproduction of original watercolors by Hosho McCreesh, Winter on 4th Street.  Set of 26 designs, each unique and featuring a different poem from 4th Street Vagaries.

Now, how cool is that?  A magnet with a poem on it!

*Bonus chapbooks…and the bonus books are so good that I’ll be coming back to tell you more about them, too.  The bonus books included in each package are by various authors and possibly for a limited time.

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Of course, I love it all.  An Adamant, Unmitigated Hope Even Amidst the Doom… contains poems that tell the stories and ask the questions that every human being should ask.  It is real–the darkness, the light, the struggle to survive.  The form of the poems is beautiful, and the writing is accessible to all readers.

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The price for the total package is $10.00 plus shipping and handling (I think it was thirteen bucks total).  The copies are also going extremely fast.  So if you’re thinking of ordering, don’t wait.

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The package can be ordered HERE.   You can also view more pictures of the package HERE.

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Check out interviews and more work by Hosho at one of my favorite sites, the outlaw poetry network.

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A review and sample poems can also be found at Poet Hound, which is another one of my favorite places to find good poetry.

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Now, I’ll quit yakking for two seconds, so you can go see it all for yourself.  It’s worth way more than the low price.

And, as always, thanks for reading!

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large_the_bones_of_saints_under_glassSometimes, a book of poems comes along that is beautifully written, but it also portrays life in a way that is very personal to me.

The Bones of Saints Under Glass by Jeff Fleming is one of those books.

The poems in this chapbook deal   with death, love, and family relationships.  There is sorrow sprinkled with bits of joy.  There is the death of a mother.  There is the beauty of young sons.  It is real.  It is the story of life.

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Jeff Fleming paints a vivid landscape with an economy of words.  Each word is carefully placed within the landscape.  In the title poem, the narrator is hiking.

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“There is no trail before me

but a rough, jagged path

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flows out behind,

slowly disappearing

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as the plants I’ve crushed

stand upright again.”

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Near a cluster of yellow flowers, the narrator sees the skeleton of a small bird, bleached white.  Like all of the poems in this book, it is a moment in the palm of a hand.  But it is so much more than that.  The moment echoes with questions and observations about life.

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Ratchet is a poem that tells the story of an “ordinary” day.  Even an ordinary day paints the larger picture of a family.

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“Most days, my mother

sat in the living room

knitting. Her sneezes

sounded like questions.”

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The poem then pivots to the father.  With a wonderfully light touch, Fleming shows us the divide between father and son.  The father takes the son out to the garage on weekends and patiently explains “the intricacies of everyday/machinery…”

The narrator ends with a gentle understanding.  “It was the only poetry he had.”

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Each poem in this book breathes.  The subjects are universal.   No matter who we are or where we are born, we all have to deal with relationships and the loss of loved ones.  Jeff Fleming does it in a way that is not overly dramatic.  It touches me in a way that I can apply to my own life.

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Of course, not all of the poems deal with death specifically, and all of the poems make me think.  But as we pass that “invincible” age, many of us begin to think about death in a different way.  I am fortunate that my mother is alive.  I have acted very immature during the death of other loved ones.  When the time comes for me to say goodbye to my mother, I hope I can remember the wisdom in these poems.

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Swimming in Beauty and Light shows the physical death of the mother and how the narrator deals with the pain.

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“I am alone, crumpled

in a chair at the foot of your metal

bed, a cage trapping you in this life

a little longer…”

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There is deep pain.  There is beauty in the physical act of dying.  And there is also acceptance.  The narrator thinks of how others will deal with his own death.

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“They will see me pass

and sadness

will overflow their hearts

and consume them for a time,

but when they break the surface

of pain and breathe the world

anew, the sky will seem washed clean,

Cradled by life,

they will own their days again.”

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In the end of the poem, the narrator imagines himself in that “otherwhere” with his father and mother.  They will be “swimming in beauty and light.”

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Even with resolution, the questions and pain do not end after a physical death. Orphan Poem One punched me in the gut for many reasons.  The narrator’s cell phone rings.  It is the narrator’s mother.  The mother begins to talk.  She even acknowledges a couple of the narrator’s questions.  But the narrator cannot understand what she is saying.  She is dead.

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The last poem in the collection, Empty Farmhouse, leaves me breathless.  An old house was abandoned when the crops failed.  An apple tree has been blown over by a storm, and it leans on the house.  Yet it continues to grow apples and drop them into the house through an open window

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“leaving seeds that struggle

to grow among

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abandoned furniture.”

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Like the seeds that struggle to grow, we are left on this earth when our loved ones are gone.  But there is beauty, even in death.  There is joy as the next generation takes its place.  And there is the comforting thought that someday, we will swim together in that beauty and light.

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I’d better stop myself now, or I’ll examine every poem in the book.  Whether you’re a dorky language nerd like me or someone who just enjoys a good read, I highly recommend The Bones of Saints Under Glass.

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I should also mention the great cover art, which was done by Hosho McCreesh.  Hosho is another poet on the top of my list.

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You can order the The Bones of Saints Under Glass HERE.

Note the low price!!!  I am a HUGE fan of Propaganda Press.  The work is high quality, and the prices are affordable, which puts poetry where it belongs.  In the hands of people.

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Jeff Fleming is also the editor of nibble, which is an awesome poetry magazine.  Be sure to check it out.  A new issue is in the works.

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And as always…

None of us poets are jack squat without you, the reader.

In other words, I appreciate you very much.  Thanks for reading!

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