Tuesday, December 16, 2008



when I come here by Ryan Eckes
(Plan B Press, 2007)

Ryan Eckes' book when i come here is recommended. Newspaper cynics would appreciate the poet's appropriation of news, which Eckes broadcasts in a minor key, personal yet influenced by the papers and more generally by the wave of speech that goes around people like the wave in a stadium. Eckes himself is a newsman prone to nostalgia and judgement; the humanity is a weakness: it softens the poems so they're not as sharp line to line as they could be. But, perhaps by the same mechanism, the poems are unified. Reading them in succession left me with that well-known feeling of the feel of the day. A feeling of memory in the making. It occurs to me the book should be read on a Saturday or Sunday.

He's a good storyteller:
"the dog was small. we wrapped it up in a trash bag and took it to the dump. i had to heave it over the fence, which was higher than i'd remembered. the dog hit the top of it and fell back to the pavement. the plastic snapped in the wind. i picked it up. fuck, she said, standing by the car, do you need help."

That poem gets better from there (though there's only a few lines left). He's also a good reader, and my book came with a cd of poems and music. Both the music and the words were very pleasant atmosphere while I puttered around my room the one time I've listened to it.

As an interesting note, the last poem in the book is titled “robert creeley” and points out the closest word in a household dictionary is creel which means . . . a wicker basket. Recommended.


Eric Gelsinger is a member of House Press. Originally from Buffalo, he lives in Brooklyn and works near Times Square as an equities trader. More of his writing can be found at www.gelsingers.blogspot.com

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