There isn't any reason in the world perhaps why anyone should care a thing about what I have to say. The only reason I think I ever got the idea to do my version of "reviews" which are hardly scholarly NYT style material to say the least, is that people over the years-some known very well and some only the slightest of acquaintances have told me I do a good job of recommending things to read in different areas. The different areas also comes in to play in that I have about a million different subjects I am interested in, which can be a blessing and a curse!
The only other things I can say is that with regard to blogfriends and others I have known awhile-I hope to soon be offering the "My Favorite Monsters Money Back Guarantee" on books I am hyped up on (books I have already talked about in the past like Rigorous Intuition, A Walk With An Irishman, Augustus, RVBICON, Gnostic Philosophy, Daimonic Reality and others apply too) Like I say-I hardly consider myself the unofficial Minister of Culture here in the U.S. (thinking of Maecenas at my other blog). This is just one small person's attempt to put a finger in the dike (OMG- no I won't go there:-) to hold back what seems like a tidal wave of "Jonas Brothers" "Formulaic" "Pre-Fab" shit that is threatening to drown the world in its utter banality, puerility, stupidity and other insults I could think of or make up.
I have often wondered-what qualities make the best writers? The best poets? Honesty is a huge one-a huge plus especially I would think in the area of poetry. One idea/image/thought comes to mind with the poetry that I have enjoyed and loved over the years-this is the notion that the author kind of takes you by the hand-and guides you-but not forcefully at all and says "Look-please look at the things that are important to me. Please look at what I have or maybe even haven't learned. This is me-this is my life. These are the things that are HOLY to me." I do not use the word "HOLY" lightly here. I would think that in every soul who has tried to lead an "examined" life to some degree-that you, me-all of us-have these "mind movies" (that's what I call 'em anyway) of things we have done -people we have known-thoughts we have had-even moods that grabbed hold of us that are HOLY to us.
Let me tell you-my good friends "Girouard Avenue" by Stephen Morrissey is a HOLY book. I say this unabashedly, without apology and in the spirit of dignity. I would also like to say that 'round the net and other works of poetry I also consider HOLY. I am awestruck by the honesty and courage and talent of Stephen and other poets who bare their minds and souls and take us by the hand to "lead us to higher ground."
The "Ogden Street" part of the post title comes from the street where I spent the first twenty years of my life. Reading Stephen's work has brought so much back to me that was already there and put it in a glorious new light-and at times a breathtakingly melancholy and wistful light-and taking a cue from David Leavitt (gosh I hope so -don't want to look stupid you know:-) "A Place I've Never Been." Needless to say-as long as I draw breath (and have a 'puter and net access:-)- I will talk more about Stephen's work. I am already wanting to order "The Yoni Rocks" and other of his books of poetry.
My insomnia is making my mind wander so I had better finish with this as I still want to post one of his poems above this post. BTW -before I forget Stephen's blog is on my bloglist by his name and his "Reincarnation" poem is also on the 1 January 2009 entry for poetry on my blog. Now a few words about Girouard Avenue from a much much brighter star than myself-to show you I am not leading anyone astray. These words are from Laurence Hutchman, author of Reading the Water (Black Moss, 2008) and also Professor of English, University of Moncton, Edmundston, New Brunswick: "...The poet accurately portrays the individual ties he has to his brother, mother, grandmother, and aunts. He expresses a central sense of loss, as well as a recuperation of the essential qualities of his father. In elegiac poems, he defines these relationships through appropriate language, original imagery and strongly felt lines..." History, family, ancestors, the spirit of place, and the legacy that one generation leaves to the next -all expressed beautifully in Girouard Avenue from Coracle Press by Stephen Morrissey!