Combustions: Poems by Anthony Seidman

Seidman, Anthony

Published by March Street Pr
ISBN 10: 1596610999 / ISBN 13: 9781596610996
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Synopsis: Little Boy Lost In his pajamas, and barefoot, he walked across the parking lot of steaming asphalt. He walked, or ran, down the sidewalk, barefoot, to the corner store from which I exit. I drop my plastic bag of beer and instant noodle soup. The boy is treading, left foot up, left foot down, right foot up...he is howling, red-faced, snot glistening over his lips. I pick him up and bring him back inside; we pass under the icy blast of the air-conditioner vent, and into the vomity smell of cleaning agents, and dusty canned food. The boy is crying so hard that he is choking on his own phlegm, and I pat, pat, pat his back. Waving his hand quickly, the clerk motions to me, Bring him here! and he swipes aside boxes of cigars and gum from the counter. I set the boy down and hold up his feet to see the damage; his soles are now two blisters, in parts parchment yellow, in other parts translucent sheaves of epidermis. One blister ruptures, mustard colored plasma oozes thick as penicillin. I look up at the clerk who shouts out in Arabic to his wife; from the stock room, she comes out, her heels clacking quickly, and she hands him the cell phone. The boy’s teeth are chattering, and he shivers; I pick him up, and he wraps around me, tight as a boa-constrictor. As I rock him, the wife banters disbelief in Arabic with her husband, and approaches us, trying to hand the boy a Hershey bar, which he refuses to grab. We spend ten minutes like this until we hear the sirens, squeal of brakes, and the chugging of a diesel engine idling. Two firemen and a paramedic step inside...the young paramedic, who looks a like blond Malibu surfer, carries the boy to the ambulance. The door open, I stand at the store’s entrance and gaze at the boy who is still crying and is now on a guerney inside the van. With blue latex gloves, the medic examines the boy’s feet, while a fireman tries to ask me questions, though my ears are throbbing and I can’t listen, can’t hear a thing, until I hear the voice of his mother, and I step out onto the sidewalk, and see her walking in her slippers and in a violet nightgown, and she’s gesticulating, screeching I told him to go nowhere and wait outside! I told him to sit outside and stay! Something fragile and small within me shatters, and then I feel a scald throughout my limbs; I approach her, shouting, but a fireman is holding me back, and insists in a decisive and well-annunciated tone: Sir, are you the father? Are you the boy’s father; sir, are you the father?

From the Inside Flap: Like a red wind sirocco from a Raymond Chandler story, Anthony Seidman’s poems surround your body and your senses. The words are both abrasive and dark, the way the night is dark and a desert wind is like sandpaper on your skin. These prose poems are like an Under the Volcano in verse but they are not a simple noir or the compelling ravings of a drunk poet of lost souls. You can feel the tension, the warring factors at work in these finely wrought poems. This is the raw stuff of creation wedded with loss, the primal and the ineffable, finding form in a neon lighted cantina on the edge of the writer’s mind. —Alan Catlin “Explosive” is one way to describe Combustions, Anthony Seidman’s raucous book of prose poems. “Brazen is another, as he, “like a fin slicing water toward trawled dolphin,” travels through the “faucet in a marble bathroom,” then emerges: “...driving home, I sweat from netting in an innuendo uttered that morning from parking attendant or tourist, a code which, after originally sinking in the swamp of consciousness, has surfaced, its skin brackish and green.” These poems will submerge you, rattle you—even taste you, like a reef shark trolling for an easy meal. You can’t surf these poems. They are too unpredictable. Diving’s the only way to go, down below the dangerous reef itself. Seidman’s imagery ranges from the top of the brain (“They taste of autumn, sharply copper-like”) to the depths of the psyche (“With syllables he heard the falling of cherry blossoms in a temple atrium in that region where the farmers had already stored the rice.”) Strap yourself in. —Alan Britt Once you start to read these poems, you will not stop. You’ll find yourself immersed in the presence of an extraordinary interior dialogue between something you feel you know—but have somehow forgotten—and something you think you know but which instead turns out to be unknown. Words will no longer seem to adhere to their inherited interpretations, their imposed meanings. Seidman’s lush voice allows each the freedom to roam into the shape of a reality that best helps him solve his singular reality. Just like the light one peels from an onion, it is the clarity of his depth that brightens our short visit.—Paul B. Roth, Editor and Publisher, The Bitter Oleander Press

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Title: Combustions: Poems by Anthony Seidman
Publisher: March Street Pr
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: As New

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