Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dumplings and Trumpets: Ross Brighton

Let me introduce you to a gorgeous chapbook filled with beautiful illustrations. I was re-reading Ross Brighton's A Pelt A Shrub A Soil Sample for the twenty-something time, this time in the park by my apartment, and his tight phrasey yet lush poetry of an over-abundant natural world was an incredibly refreshing juxtaposition to the city stacked so high nearby. Do not think these poems are some cute la-la about trees or New Zealand (that's where Ross lives). There's so much sensual landscape, so much body, that you'd be foolish to miss the ache and thickness therein/thereof.

Ross Brighton's thready ambiguities leave me thinkin' and thinkin' hours over the so many multiple meanings he's able to conjure. It's like a match. In his poem, "Fauning," the title has quite a list of different meanings and connotations--birthing, exaggerated flattery--but I found myself enjoying the over-thinking of it--fauning as browning over, fauning as being so richly fresh and young, and (Lara Glenum did this to me with her "bullying") fauning as, well, you know. Faunin'.

He dedicates the poem to Claire Hero and you can order his chapbook from his blog. Have a listen:

Lordy, all the foresty sounds, so much onomatopoeic shh that you've got to hush yourself to hear how loud it is (rushy, thickish, underbrush). There's middle-thought rhyme like two deer chasing each other (dalebound the trail/ and uphill down) and repetition (warpaint, warpelt, warmth of fur) that makes this simply a damn fine poem to read.

At the heart of all this sound, cut and jazzy, controlled yet fluid, of all this John Keats meets Ronald Johnson language, there's flirty play with space and meaning. Just when I think I have it in my hands, a line drops or white space emerges. Something is going to be named, but instead meets space and something is finally being told "this is it," but more tab space follows before the last mention of "a path/ a way through". It's a comforting sort of tension. Refer back to what I was saying about the Ambiguity Multiplex and remember that "the-way-of-things" in this poem is the way of all things, the way of all flesh, death and sex, but the furthermore running from and chasing of both. Chasing: two deer, two dearie lovers, a restless reader.

1 comment:

Ross Brighton said...

Thanks heaps for the plug, Farrah - I love your warm words. And it seems you've hit the nail on the head regarding intentionality. I've very flattered.