October 23, 2009

David Chorlton, October 13

Alan Catlin had alerted me that David Chorlton would be passing through the Albany area so I invited him to come & read at a "salon" at my house, in an intimate setting with select Albany poets. David Chorlton has lived in Phoenix since 1978 but he was born in Austria & grew up in Manchester, close to rain and the northern English industrial zone. He is the winner of Slipstream's 22nd Annual Poetry Chapbook Competition for his chapbook From the Age of Miracles.

David is lean, grey-haired & craggy, with just the right touch of an accent to complete the image of the poet. But it is his work that proves he is a poet. This night he gave a brief, well-planned reading from work in his chapbook & other poems. He has found a way to combine political statements with images in poetry without the abstract big words (you know, "Justice," "Beauty," "Truth," "Soul," etc.).  See his "Letter to Pasolini" ("...how a communist could fit inside a sports car..."), "The Invisible Demonstrator" or "Letter to Puccini." He loves the desert ("Nothing") & referred frequently to the writings of Edward Abbey. Contemporatry poets writing philosophical musings or political cant can learn how to turn their scribblings into poems by reading what David Chorlton has written.

In "Postcards from the Time of Waiting" he writes,

While we wait
we read anything we don't need
to remember. Printed words
have become grains
of sand in an hourglass.

Not these.

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