Doug Anderson's "Blues For Unemployed Secret Police" dramatically reflects his experience of growing up in the sixties, serving as a field medical corpsman in Viet Nam, and confronting the modern era where "a good torturer can always find a job." With passion, humor, and strikingly original images, these poems illuminate everything from bad politics to love gone wrong.
Brand: Curbstone Books
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Anderson's first book, The Moon Reflected Fire, won prizes, among them the prestigious Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. Such a strong first book leaves a poet plagued by the cynic's question,"sure, that book was good but can he do it again?" Blues for Unemployed Secret Police is Doug Anderson's answer and it is a resounding YES. This is one of those rare books in which stunning poem is followed by stunning poem, where we come to understand that the poet's earlier focus on Vietnam was an instance of a larger focus on the complex beauty and darkness which attend any real look at our deepest natures. Anderson compels our attention because he knows that the intensity of experience, whether pain or joy, which can be easily identified in extreme situations is also present when we find ourselves walking down a city street wondering why we are drawn to its noise and confusion (see Babylon) or when we are watching a "live petroglyph" "drawing the story of light...
The poetry of Blues For Unemployed Secret Policy dramatically reflects Doug Anderson's experiences growing up in the sixties, serving as a field medical corpsman in Viet Nam, and confronting the modern era where "a good torturer can always find a job." Anderson's poetry is passionate, humorous, original, and ranges from bad politics to love gone wrong. The Oracle: On the altar the flies of God/swarm on the pomegranates and roasted oxen./We say we want to know the truth/but as the light sweetens/and the priestess does not arrive/we grow comfortable with the old lies./I want and do not want the razor-edged/pendulum that swings in my heart./The woman gone and why./Years of wide-eyed blindness./There is tenderness in all gathered here/in the shade of the temple./When we were young we dreamed/of a plateau where everything/could be seen in all directions/and suffering evaporated in wisdom./Silence is the power/that pools in the shadows of words/and when finally we stop...
Doug Anderson is a poet of rare authenticity. His work is layered, nuanced and resonant, capable of being forceful and tender, direct even as it alludes to the mystery of what we don't see beneath what we do. He delivers white hot emotion viewed through dispassionate eyes, and a connectedness that finds release only by going deeper into itself. Anderson writes political poems that ache with sad knot of love and love poems that crash through the senses like the assaults of war. His humor is wry and dry, but always there is the sense that it has been reached by way of tears, shed and unshed. I can't recommend his BLUES highly enough. Like the musical genre, it is a layered book, in which love and loss hold hands.
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