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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sweet Son of Pan

I stopped reading poetry a while ago because I wasn’t aware of work that was relevant to me. Now I’m rediscovering it and finding whole worlds that were always there if I’d only known where to look. Collections such as Trebor Healey’s Sweet Son of Pan are what drew me back.

I was lucky to catch Trebor’s reading for Sweet Son of Pan. He read Denny, which sounded familiar, and then I made the connection to the Pansy Division song (dug out my CD and yep, Trebor is credited on the lyrics). Shooting Star touched a raw nerve of truth about the military boys I knew when I was younger, while Soldiers reminds me of the physical but not emotional distance I have from them now. We Started Out Janitors perfectly captures the cure for soul crushing shitty jobs. San Gabriel Valley shows the futility of trying to connect to some tricks on an intellectual level. And his Crab Pantoum - I’d never heard of a pantoum, a distinct form of poetry that uses repetition in slightly different context to give new shades of insight to a statement. Being about crabs, it’s also pretty damn funny.

Inspired by his reading, I bought the collection and found other treasures. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., South Central L.A. makes me nod in agreement with his vision. My Type captures why we give our bodies and minds to lovers who aren’t worth the trouble, and why we’ll keep doing it even when we know better. These Are The Places Where I Am Broken, Evildoers, Ode To Buddha; those are the pages I’ve bent at the corners so that I can return to them. Now I’m carrying his words around in my brain, and some in my heart. This collection is why I’ll give poetry another chance – because it resonates.


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