Rain River

by Yusuke Keida. Editions Pphoo, Pradip Choudhuri, 73 Regent Estate, Calcutta, 700 092 India. 2000. 68pp.

Book Review by

“I’m a cross-legged goof/ because I write poetry,” pens Japanese poet Yusuke Keida in his first widely available, in English, book of poems. It is a selection of work harvested from 20 years of writing. It is a book, in one sense, of love poems, homage and tributes to other poets that allowed Keide to breathe/bathe full, wet, naked life, in the midst of the hard cold rain of existence beyond poetry. His masters are Kerouac and Ginsberg and he has supported them, and a generation or two of Beats that follow them, via his Blue Beat Jacket press and magazine. Keida also translated Kerouac’s poetry into Japanese. Yes, Rain River, it is a lovely book published by Pradip Choudhuri, India’s Beat Generation proponent and promoter, and has that delightful, oriental peace, a peace so needed, so sought after by Kerouac, Ginsberg, poets in general, and maybe you to, good reader. Check it out. Keida’s address, if you interested in Japanese Beats and Kerouac, is: Blue Jacket Press, 1-5-54 Sugue-cho, Sanjo-shi, Niiagata, Japan.