Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sensational Spectacular in Bewilderment, Inc.

I just finished reading Nate Pritts' new book, SENSATIONAL SPECTACULAR, from BlazeVox and am thrilled to know that it's arrived, it's in print, it's a message from a very human speaker to actual human beings in the NOW of this world! Nate's poems have always wrestled with essentials--Truth, Beauty, the nature of the individual--his wishes hopes and dreams of meaning. And here they speak the essential language of essentials forever--weirdly, subjectively (how else can one speak of "essentials" these days?) with guts and aplomb, over and over in interesting, charming, and heartfelt ways. For example, "Our dreams are dreams/of velocity & truth, of lifting/out of ourselves for a better place" (from "I Wish a Rocket Would Come and Take Me Away"); or "...implication itself such a sorry contraption,/a broken down engine for communicating the structure/of this when you said that" (from "In the Hot Seat"); or how about, "Monkey, lion, fox: switch places with me. Experience what it's like/ for someone to look at you & not call you by your right name" (from "The Walls of Our Sphere").

These poems are earnest, on the sleeve, full of lightness and dark, robots, friend/ships and "all my frantic/ mammal concerns blowing off behind me//in the dangerously perfect light" (from "Sun Brain"). Yeah, that's right. If seeing is believing, then believing is reading this fine new book of poems. As Pritts writes in "Journey to the Stars," "A man tells us to keep our eyes on the skies, that we wouldn't want// to look down and see what the world around us is turning into." I couldn't agree more. And yet, these poems don't ignore what the world is turning into, but rather strive to see it differently--in light of the stars, their community and grace. "For your love," Pritts writes in "Without a Net":

I'd cross from one mountain to another,

walking slow on the long rope bridge to your heart

& I wouldn't turn back even if I saw you

trying to undo the knots that hold me up.