Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Recommendation -Passenger Flight by Brian Campbell

Brian Campbell is a talented Canadian poet whose poetry I've had the pleasure of reading numerous times. He also is a songwriter, editor, translator, and teacher. I really enjoyed reading his latest collection out and would highly recommend Passenger Flight, a book of prose poems. Order it here at at AMAZON . This LINK gives you more detailed information about the book, including a review. Please take time to read it. The link opens in a separate window.

Below are two poems I especially like from the book.

(note: there is no line break in the first poem, but insists on putting it there despite several efforts deleting, then recopying and pasting, to make it merge into one whole poem)


All this shadow, shifting in nebulous darkness. I speak of you, pursing your lips to
kiss, making me step down into my body to experience the surprising pleasure. There is something in me that resists your affections. Something else that wants to blend, annihilate me, so that I urges into verb. Curious, this back and forth within my skin’s parenthesis. And now I see you there, the gentle slope of your shoulders, the scoop of your breasts. I will inevitably enter your softnesses, snuggle. Within me also, this describing self, this circumscribing self that stabs with a compass, etches circles, half-moons. Shouldn’t moon have an irregular plural, like mooni? Odd that one is an odd number. Even is so complacent in its evenness, it’s odd. But rounding again to a sensual knowing: there is something very conversational about blankets, the way they rumple and bunch and collapse, form hills and valleys with each toss and turn. And when you get up, the blanket slips away unveiling you, a statue, smooth, alabaster, yet soft in the lamplight. Your body eclipses the lamplight: penumbras slide about the room. All this play of light and shadow. Now. And thousands of years ago, in a cave.


The poetry editor of a magazine to which I had recently submitted sent me an e-mail asking permission not to print my poems, but to kindly let him grind them up into fish food. "In our aquarium," he explained, "we have several exotic fish, and we are of the opinion that your poems, ground up, would make an ideal nutrient for them." "Will you eventually publish them?" I wrote back. "No, we're afraid your poems, however worthy they may be, do not meet our editorial needs at this time." "Will I be able to publish them elsewhere?" was my next question. "Only," he replied, "if the publisher agrees to print them with this credit underneath: —Originally ground up as fish food for The Barracuda Review. However," he added, "we also think that your poems, grated, might serve as an excellent condiment for Italian food. If you agree, we'll try them on our Fettuccini Alfredo tonight." Reflecting on this, I realized it's true: poems don't have to be read to be appreciated. So I accepted his offer, although not without feelings of regret and chagrin.

See Brian's blog at

(Brian and I share the same last names, but we're not related)


Yo,Jimbo! said...

My first reaction to the 'diss track'
about ground fish food would be
someone has a content problem
or something, some style-wars flip-off.

The second-order reaction is...
..maybe someone is fishing for attention
by splashing gasoline around. The thing
barely registers on Google. It's lost
behind some fiction book. Let's say
that was done to a few people with decent web visibility.

I have seen some weird plays for
attention lately. Get ready for a
bumpy existential-crisis season
this year (nov-dec). A lot of Jls.
and sites are going cold already.

Pris said...

Jim K. Is this you? The link leads back to your site but I've never seen this user name. Want to make sure you weren't phished.

Jim K. said...

yes, just me...
i should avoid confusion

Pris said...

But confusion is so much fun:-)