My Common Heart by Anne Boyer
(Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2011)
Issue 8, Newsletter from James Yeary
(2947 E. Burnside, Portland, OR 97214)
My Common Heart
This book is overwhelming. I have read the 30 some texts twice now. It is difficult to respond....to find a way to respond. I can say that Boyer has done what few can do.....write with intellect, clarity, class and the ability to engage a reader without off putting personal response so common to so called 'political' text. What I ended up doing was thinking of the 17th century poeta Sor Juana, railing against the church...Occupy The Vatican ...as she, alone in Mexico, wrote with "a common heart". I am also thinking of Kathy Acker and Diane Di Prima and Lenore Kandel. I am also thinking that there are already are a lot of poets responding to and recording of OWS and our current political environment. I will state now that few will achieve what Boyer has.
As in the minimal:
on a river
or greater text:
from IL PIE FERMO
It is late winter 2011 and the captains and industrialists and presidents
and kings and magnates and primes ministers stroll,
their hands behind their back,
and elsewhere, the forever hums of Chinese manufacture
and here the caterwauls of lust and dying both
the imprisoned leakers
the erroneous wood of the delicate
"pornography or opinion"
how crystalline and
Boyer writes about rape, and crowds and Bradley Manning and OWS and Overland Park, Kansas and the street and the home and the city...the city on fire....how many ways she can describe a crowd with detail that makes it virtual to the reader. Anger tempered by a poetics as thoughtful as a mom might show to a daughter or a mom might learn from a daughter.
Boyer writes about being in the street and in the crowd and in the courtroom and in the halls of justice and in the home with family and friends and sitting in front of an Apple bee's, in the rain, reading a novel. If you let it Boyer's text will bring you to tears. Or fear. Or to your feet and to your crowd with your voice joined with others. And she may be standing next to you on the street and you might not notice at all. Which is why her allowing this collection to be published is to our benefit. I will leave it to someone else to make more of Boyer's My Common Heart....there is certainly more to be said. Rather than write more I am going to read the book again. And then again.
Issue 8, Newsletter from James Yeary
I have no idea what the thing is called...it looks like: V 8 p p y y d D d r H h i u a a a t which looks to me like a cartoon projectile vomit obscene Betty and Veronica comix from whats his name in NYC...you know the poet guy. So yeah confused laughing and gagging is what happens when Yearys poetry newsletter shows up out here in Kansas. But once again it is full of great writing even if some is in a language I dont know and some is in such SMALL type that I cant read it with my old eyes. Boo fucking hoo. It is probably some tween text lingo common in far northwest america middle school. Yeary would do that.
Okay...for one thing what a pleasure to get a publication and not know any of the writers published. Good on that. And this bunch is. Who would think that Robert Mittenthal could write something called: Tech Support Poetry and have it be as satisfying. "...the verbs verbalize and the nouns announce/causation as affective translation...". Indeed. And here is Andra Rotaru: "...you tell me take care what you dream/since the patch I am standing on/has the hue of a man's flesh/since my skin's ever whiter..." More words other writers. A few pages xeroxed and stapled together and sent thru the mail. Donations accepted. I send him a few bucks when I remember. You should too.
McCrary waits for his Social Security check in Lawrence, Kansas. His most recent publication, Es Verdad, a 'photo essay' of baby horses in the Yucatan combines stark pictures with poetic text guaranteed to wrench a tear from the reader. An online edition available by email. See below. He also lurks in the basement of the 8th Street Taproom, a local dive which holds regular poetry readings. He participates in the open mic and operates a book table. (Hint-send stuff to give away) email:
Editor's Note: To date, jim mccrary is the only reviewer allowed to post a reviewer photo of himself because he's so bloody charming. To wit, here he is with Iris: