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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

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First Printed Book Review

The following is an excerpt from a book review of Late Night Writing which Pasckie Pascua wrote for the September 2004 issue of The Indie:

The poet confidently plays with visual intimacy ("Some evenings/it is difficult to discern/where the house lights stop /and the stars begin.")—as well as emotional terrain, like an artisan voyager who has mastered his every step like a shaman spewing wisdom like pipesmoke ("Scene must be committed to memory.") But unlike the bohemian freebird that finds refuge in many a temporal layovers and rest-stops, Mulder knows pretty well that at the end of the day, intimacy and emotion come home hand-in-hand: "She returns to bed /and nestles beneath /the bedclothes, smiles /and reminds me /to turn off the light."
That one, that soul that warms under a physical shelter, sets him apart from the vagabond soul that has oftentimes identify subversive romanticism in young poets. In that regard, Mulder becomes the poet outside the frame.
The poetry in "Late Night Writing" doesn't end there though. Like a sneaky feline traipsing through a bed of flaming thorns, he meticulously—almost compulsively/obsessively—aligns, levels, arranges images and figures atop, beside, beneath and arc then entices you to come leap over it. His carefully woven, well-crafted enchantment gnaws and nags then tempts you to exhaust yourself before you resign to a fulfilling denouement.
"the wisteria along the railroad tracks" to " a park bench in front of the hardware store," Mulder negates the dreamy mischief that may be hiding from the cracks and crannies of his journey—instead, he diligently collects the little, seemingly nonsensical morsels that litter the streets and avenues of his meandering and wanderings then collage them into a bewildering parchment of truths. Hence, with the painless agility of a painter and quiet power of a sage, he offers: "Sometimes volumes of verse pass before my eyes/before I discover a splinter of reality./Sometimes the only distance between/two truths is a line and always a lifetime."
Despite all the metaphorical superlatives, "Late Night Writing" is easy, feeling-good reading, almost like a Rimbaud sobering up with Miles Davis over tequila sunrises at Venice Beach on a windy September late afternoon. Here is a poet who doesn't reve[a]l perfumed nightmares or exalted glorious wounds... he simply examines landscapes, surveys memories, and then invites you to come ride along. But leave excess baggage behind—otherwise, you'd be sweetly distracted and hopelessly bothered. That is all good unless you fail to read between, beneath his lines.

  1. Blogger Gilroy | 10:57 AM, October 08, 2004 |  

    Wow, what a review, huh! Congratulations to the Poet! Although the reviewer did not include very many quoted lines, those that he did seem well selected-especially the "line" and "liftime" . . .poignant and epiphanizing: Well Done! Compulsive?. . .I don't know, but I am surely compulsed to buy the work. . I'm off to find it. . .

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