by Mark Weber. Zerx Press, 725 Van Buren Place SE,Albuquerque, NM 87108.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
I think both Weber and Locklin have beards like the great Linc did have.Mark Weber’s long poem is half this fine book. It is a long meditative piece composed of memories drifting in and out of the fifteen-page poem. This seems a different type of poem for Mark Weber who spends a good deal of his time painting houses and in the recording studio and writing poems with a more up front reportage style. It is wonderful to see Weber then here growing and growing reflective. He is truly one the great writers of long poems. Perhaps he the one and only one who can handle the form with grace and style and still have it sink in deep like a fork in your raw hot dog or slicing the fog. Look, long poems are hard to write and Weber can write them. A master work that must be read. A line in his coda explains it quite well: “When you first awake your dreams are still part true.” So it is with this poem. Then flip the book and be treated to a set of poems by master artist Gerald Locklin here relating more of his jazz poems, riffing along various themes and always appreciating music. Music is an important aspect of Locklin’s work - more than one would imagine. Locklin is a poet much involved in the idiom of speech. However, if one considers a riff or phrase in music to be speech in a way controlled, well then so does Locklin’s cadence become music. The progression of the poems is a precession of and in and with the pleasure of sound. As with all of Gerard Locklin’s work, it is so smoothened in the honest as to be ice and your ride is a glide though the poetry.