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For Lack of Diamond Years
by Caroline Beasley-Baker
92 pages/ 77 poems
To purchase: http://www.pelekinesis.com
About the Book:
For Lack of Diamond Years is an idiosyncratic collection
of short poems – most under 20 lines – where questions
lead the way.
The poems are a mixed set of free verse, unabashed
counting forms like the Hay(na)ku and the Elfchen,
and a very minimalist version of John Cage's
mesostic form, along with a small number of poems
based on colors, and a few that steal freely from
traditional American songs.
But at its heart, "For Lack of Diamond Years" is a
quixotic narration between realms of being – from
the quotidian into the sometimes numinous, sometimes
murky realm of the unknown/unknown, and on into a
kind of revamped transcendental. There is a thread of
praise runs throughout – an embrace of the joys and
sorrows of thinking and feeling, of love and loss.
"FOR LACK of DIAMOND YEARS is pitch perfect, deeply felt
yet not sentimental, an absolutely true-blue and richly unadorned
dance with the language. Then there's the deft delineation of airy
space within the poems – much like small songbirds hopping
to flight after feeding. There isn't a dash here to be altered.
A deep pleasure on the page."
"These poems are extraordinary. Caroline Beasley-Baker's voice
is unique, and strong, and like no other poet I know. She is the
real deal, as they say – everything works, even the ravishingly
brilliant ways that the poems appear on the page. For some reason,
I keep thinking of Leonard Cohen's lines, 'There a crack in every-
thing/That's how the light gets in'."
About the Author:
CAROLINE BEASLEY-BAKER is a poet and visual artist. Her poems
have appeared online and in print in Qarrtsiluni, MungBeing Magazine,
MOBIUS /The Poetry Magazine, The MOM Egg, La Fovea, and volumes
5 thru 8 of the Brevitas Festival Review of the Short Poem. Meritage
Press published two chain poems done with writer/poet Holly Anderson
and singer/songwriter Lisa B. Burns in The Chained Hay(na)Ku Project
She frequently uses words/poems in her visual work for which she has
received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in painting and
a National Endowment for the Arts in Collaborative Work. She lives in
Fort Greene/Brooklyn, New York.
About the Publisher:
Pelekinesis is a small book publishing company focusing on the develop-
ment of independent authors and artists by creatively embracing the
evolving publishing paradigm and utilizing modern distribution platforms.
Full catalog and press material can be found at http://www.pelekinesis.com
From the Book
pre-school/the eyes & ears
by Caroline Beasley-Baker
i spent my first 4 years in a beer joint in downtown
Kansas City on the edge of hillbilly and honky tonk –
the ever-praised hank williams ...
young ferlin husky/
lefty frizzell/webb pierce –
shuffleboard pucks click-swatting the beat –
beer glasses sliding the length of the bar
my aunt flo polishes when things are a bit slow.
there's talk about politics – which do you like best
sweet-pea – a Donkey/an elephant? ...the laughter –
my aunt lola sitting on my father's knee – my mother
from off the top of the juke box:
ALL caught by the flash of uncle john's leica.
& my grandmother liona ...well –
as the genteel leila said:
that liona – she's a firecracker – you know –
she's half French/half Indian – fond of dancing & fishing
well– never you mind – sit closer honey-dear –
i'll teach you a song.