by Dan Fante. collected poems 1983-2002 - (with original ((and excellent)) art by Michael Napper. 127 pages. 2002. Sun Dog Press, 22058 Cumberland Dr., Northville, MI 48167.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
Well, this was an introduction to a poet I have heard howling over in the thick woods by them unexplored and uninhabited (by the sane) universe. Perhaps the title says it all and it goes a way as the only definition and blurb needed. But I must be humble on the sidewalk and mumble some verbiage:
real heroes/ sleep alone listening only to the beat of their own wild heart"
two lines by Dan Fante stuck in my ear the day long like a wasp sting singing. The poet handles a metaphor like a Musketeer with blade. Not Muscatel! But he has handled a good deal of that with metaphors and without. And yet, around the night light of this poetry are the moths of innocence and some of them always escape the burning volt jolt and heat of a life, his, yours, mine, all of us who have to walk close enough to the sewer to look into it and to catch, to often, a strong whiff of puke and pain and shit. And while love leaves and is leaving. Love is also arriving, as do these poems from Fante. Well, I see from the many blurbs on this book’s dust jacket that he, Dan Fante, is compared to this writer and to that writer (He likes, by the way, Raymond Carver) and to that poet and to this writer from here and there and that writer and this and that, that and this. enough. Nice for the novice reader shopping in a literary supermarket, a reader without tainted heart and eye pallet. Fante stands above the smorgasbord of over cooked, too often reheated, dry, tasteless, pathetic works and words of other poets. And look! What’s he doing?! Dan Fante! Look! Dan Fante has his dick out! He is? look at him up there on the table! ? the poet is peeing in the salad!