"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Brands by Dave Oliphant

Cover design by Jim Jacobs after Pancho Villa's death's head brand When I last awoke this morning, thunderstorms were blustering thru, so I spent some of that time reading Dave Oliphant's Brands, a chapbook published by Road Runner Press in 1972. In it I noted his "Padding" poem had four lines which were obviously too long for the page and therefore had their ends tucked under to the far right. It could be they are supposed to be that way, but I will be sharing "Padding" here with the lines full out. He was in Malta, Illinois, at that time. Ten years later, when I was briefly in Austin, Texas, I had a short visit with him. His chapbook's title comes from a sequence of six cattle brand poems in it. He is a native Texan who for many years was the editor and publisher of Prickly Pear Press. - PADDING anything to make it easier on the mind to keep the real thing out of the crush block passage on the House & Senate floors in verse Unamuno justified / found it fitting but for none / not one of the reasons above & o what stoic Spanish tho't would've been his comfort then lined / laced with arabesques / Moorish words like almohadas on hearing me declare verbiage to be the lot / the lonely the only stuff for making song / when what he wanted was marrow / a little carne along with the bone just to get free from figuring it out I'd say / well / waste is the American way cardboard-box a tree & save a buck eighty but that won't do & neither will asylum walls this banging unbruised into devils inside our cells when everywhere it's plugging up or knocking holes in the Giants' / the Rams' / the Jets' defenses covering up for the collected poems can't even copy lux fiat under the stoop leaves & twigs hibernating the frogs string & straw soon to hatch a singing in the eaves kh00032

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