by Rebecca Morrison. Little Red Book No. 44. Lumox Press, PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
First one has to like little books that are red. Everytime I touch one I am again in the Wobbly frame of mind. Songs for the people, poems for the people. And that is the little press. For those who do not know The Wobbly’s Little Red Song Book - better check it out and learn the history of descent and popular art in this country before Bush declares war on it and destroys that history looking for Poetry of Mass Destruction (PMD). HA! But like the Wobbly’s Rebecca Morrison takes a song, a song that I know and you know: I am The Walrus (one of Lennon’s best) and alters it for pointed political purpose. Lennon would have been proud. She alters I am the Walrus into ODE TO EXXON and her version is about the destruction of the natural world. Let me quote,
Exxon Texans smoking cigars don't you think the seagull screams at you? Scree scree scree!
See how they fly like birds in the sky, see how they die.
Money grubbing fishmongers climbing up the Exxon ladder.
Etc. It dosen’t leave my head. A chilly work, and this one should be anthologized everywhere and published again and again in magazines everywhere, on billboards. If you are an editor write to her. Find here, write to here and ask to reprint this work. Now, that is not to say that she doesn’t score elsewhere in this little red book. She does just that and and and. This poet is one clever poet and the poems are dense and lush with words but not losing ever the nature of small press - directness and simplicity. That is direct poetic action. She isn’t innocent but a wrier that isn’t chained to an ideology. She’s her own writer, which is what all is. In the end that is it. And not forgetting the people’s creed. This poet can pull and stretch the poetics of small press this way and that and it shows, reads. Read how fluid and flexible this form of poetry can be when handled in the hands of someone with brain and heart and passion and concern. And it is only five bucks and you get a lot of poems ’ like forty pages of good poems for a five that’s like 12 cents for a page and she writes a poetry that it is something you need. NEED.