Harry Whitewolf's Reviews > First Harvest: Collected Poems, 2003-2013

First Harvest by Mat Kondo
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it was amazing
bookshelves: beat-bums-drunks-n-drugs, poetry

This book took me back to my youth, when truth arose from the pages of great sages like Ginsberg, Blake and Baudelaire. A time in my youth when my heart was inspired by Beat or Basho and words crashed like runaway trains through my mind to somewhere.

Thank you Mat Kondo, sincerely, for First Harvest. Admittedly I don't read much poetry these days (perhaps because the older we get the less inspired we can feel) but this collection really did reignite that flame of inspiration. This is a book for his Beat heroes, and it shows. Firstly, in how well Kondo constructs poems to perhaps emulate the stanzas of the brilliant beats; one moment it's like Ginsberg's ghost has risen, the next Gary Snyder's zen of the natural world takes preference, but ultimately these poems are all of Kondo's own. You can faff around trying to write beat-like poetry all you like, or you can just sit down and write it from your heart. This book doesn't try. It's Beat because the heart and soul of the poet is spewed out of the pages, in an honest alliance with the sentiments of the beatniks, bohemians and truth seekers. Those that know we're losing ourselves amongst the ever increasing system that prevents our spirits from soaring back to mystical interpretations of God and Mother Nature, which we know exist because we feel it in our hearts. It's bursting to come out. And in First Harvest, it sure does. This is Mat Kondo's call for the underdogs to rise up. There's definitely room for a Neo Beat movement, and Kondo has his place.

(From 'Calling All Underdogs')
“And get thee hence,
and carve out your own
special slice of
Nirvana manna
from Buddah's
giant compassionate heart,
which booms like a kick-drum death knell gong
across the moors of the cosmos.”

(From 'The Daily Grind')
“Meaningless work, boring-as-hell work,
slowly turning you into a boring-as-hell person.
You're tired of all this drudgery.
Your only hope and light for the day
being the distant, beaming coffee shop oases,
at the end of the line, in your mind,
which jumps you with a jolt,
knock you back into slightly-better-than-poor-shape
to send you back to your work-office fix.”
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Reading Progress

August 30, 2014 – Shelved
August 30, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
December 30, 2014 – Started Reading
Finished Reading
January 15, 2015 – Shelved as: beat-bums-drunks-n-drugs
January 15, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry

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