Thursday, June 20, 2013


is, as I just posted at LinkedIn:

POETRY Recommendation (#4): NEW ORLEANS VARIATIONS AND PARIS OUROBOROS by Paul Pines (Dos Madres, 2013). My recommendations are generated from what I fall in love with during readings. I am happy to read a lot of poetry, which usually are chosen at random from a desire to read poetry (and about poetry) as widely as I can.

I don't give details on why I love the books I'm recommending on LinkedIn.  And, candidly, I like that lack of pressure -- when one discusses poetry, one often ends up sounding a fool (albeit -- when one is lucky -- a la Shakespeare's type of fools). 

But for Paul Pines' new poetry collection, I'm happy to share here a poem that shows the fabulous jazz and manifestation of a Homer quote cited by the book, "We leave home to find ourselves."  This is a part of a poem, "Hello From Nola"--

a party awash in rice and beans
Popeye’s fried chicken
and biscuits
chorizos and King Cake
with the baby
still in it

served by Sor Juana
still in her escudo
I enter in jeans and a t-shirt
no longer recognizable
to those who sit
around a larger table
until my hostess
introduces me
as the man who was Jesus
at which there are random
nods of recognition

I’m asked
from time to time
to perform an intervention
as when the dog
leaps up to a low lying
bowl and devours
the sausage
or a reveler
spills her rum and coke
on the sofa but nothing
approaching a miracle
though I tell them
I can turn wine
into urine

a Mad Hatter
challenges me
to make it through the airport
dressed as our Savior

says it would be a spectacle
to watch them scan my robes
divest me of my hair and beard
conduct a cavity search
a veritable security

a new wrinkle
on the Grand Inquisitor
I appear before a southern judge
who finds me guilty of
inciting to riot
disrupting the status quo
a warning to Terrorists
a Republican trope

     one can’t be
     too careful when
     the Prince of Peace
     might be just another

who just last week
danced without incident
in the second line
all the way to
Canal St.

Nifty poem from a poet at the peak of his prowess!

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