Alan's Reviews > Rants and Raves: Selected and New Prose Poems

Rants and Raves by Peter     Johnson
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's review
Nov 04, 10

bookshelves: poetry, read-in-2010
Recommended to Alan by: Kevin
Read from October 15 to November 04, 2010

liked a lot of this, packing a lot into a few lines, sometimes heartbreak and comedy, eg in 'Hawk': 'Sometimes I awake with a headline stuck in my head - Doctor in Bangor Treating Elvis for Migraines' is followed soon after with 'Yesterday, my student fell from a tree and died.. I stopped to buy cough drops and a backscratcher'. But the student is given his proper due - 'because he believed in what he wrote, he wasn't my best writer. He wasn't a liar, he wasn't waiting for applause. The clap of crows emptying a tree was enough for him, the simple architecture of an egg.'

It is full of love/family, eroticism and death constantly interrupted by the mundane, but you feel Johnson (unlike Coleridge) welcomes these interruptions: 'A car that's a bass guitar rattles my windows - a ritual I run my life by unless someone knocks on the door. No one ever knocks on the door.'

Sometimes the whimsy grates: 'Sleep quietly, dry logs', sometimes I like it: 'the dead will return in taxi cabs'.

Not sure how to assess it, I go from 3 to 4 stars, but I do feel I will go back to this book over and over and dip in and re-read and get more from it, or perhaps sometimes less..
so thanks Kevin.

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