I reMEmber petrOLeum by Jim Leftwich

I reMEmber petrOLeum

Jim Leftwich

242 pp., $18.00, ISBN 9781938521522

I reMEmber petrOLeum is a single long poem of 391 cantos or a series of 391 poems, both structures are valid, that can be read or experienced as a vast mirror in which you will see yourself and the world which is your matrix. When you read it again or look again into its pages, you and the world you see will be different. This is not “confessional” poetry, nor cultural critique, nor political posturing, but something quite different: it is an authentic immersion into a self through the medium of written language. And because it is so complete and fearless in that immersion, in its unflinching consciousness and unconsciousness, a self, or all selves, are revealed. This is why you will see your own unique beings and worlds in this book. Leftwich writes passages of both apparently clear diction (again the road,/what it wants is always in/ruin, opening/like a lip), and passages of apparent ambiguity or aleatoric syntax (I & Yes/I/less & less/a guest inside a guess); he uses word play to indicate the shifting nature of “reality” (feELeRs gRiPping/fiLTeRs gripPing); there are passages and moments of beautiful surrealism (I LiKe the uMBrella/Flying in the underworld); in short, his skill with written language is such that there seems to be no barrier, no hesitation, between his intention or experience and his writing of it. It is remarkable that this entire book was written in less than three weeks. His is an authentic and powerful human voice speaking thinking mumbling explaining stumbling being blindingly clear. -John M. Bennett




CIEN SONETOS by Iván Argüelles

Includes a Foreword by Jack Foley & and Afterword by John M. Bennett


With the words “I am become something more than myself” Iván Argüelles opens the third of these 100 sonnets. This describes his entire body of work, but in these poems we find the poet pursuing that “something more” across dark ground, the shadowland of death. Suffering from the loss of his son and driven by that sorrow through what the mythic terrain renders of absence itself. He confronts this inversion, this loss of self, by eloquently revealing one layer after another of startling imagery that speaks to us on a level no common tongue can tell. The result is an intuitive map of both the poet’s subconscious and the collective memory of the species singing out of the ancient sources. Argüelles always enchants, but in these sonnets he ferries us across the river and allows us to see what must forever remain unseen. He makes darkness shine. - Jake Berry


ISBN 9781938521515