Wednesday, February 14, 2007


J.O. LECLERC Reviews

Bowery Women: Poems, An Anthology Edited by Marjorie Tesser & Bob Holman
(YBK Publishers, New York, NY C.E. 2006)

There’s a place called The Bowery Poetry Club (BPC). BPC is located on The Bowery on the isle of Manahatos in Noo Yawk City (The Reviewuh’s hometown. Yuh gotta a problem wit’ that?).

The proprietor of BPC is Sir Robert Holman. A night in shining orlon. Bob is very famous for divers (muchas) things (cosas) poetic (poetica). Bob also knows everybody (todas personas en el mundo) -- even the reviewer. If the current anno was 500 B.C.E., Bob would know Confucius, Lao-Tzu, Plato and Earl Stanley Gardner. Bob has been “profiled” in The New Yorker (gasp!) and will no doubt eventually be a Nobel Laureate for Molecular Biology.

Full disclosure: Back one night in 2004, I was bar flyin’ at BPC. The club has many tasty brews on tap. Upon that evening, I did consume a rather large amount of British Ale. This (of course) resulted in me insulting everybody in BPC except the bartender named Laurel. I do describe Laurel as Aphrodite armed with the largest lexicon of four letter words I ever did hear. Although my wife Janet was present, I did tell Laurel that I loved her. Laurel told me to shut my bleepin’ loud mouth. Janet expressed similar sentiments in rather more genteel terms. Now: the reason I’m tellin’ you all this is because Proprietor Bob Holman coulda easily had the behemoth bouncer throw me outta the place long before I pledged my troth to Laurel (actually, any six year old child coulda 86’d me that nicht). But Bob didn’t do that. Instead, he offered me a glass of Pernod on the house! Whatta Guy! HE realized I wasn’t just some drunken jerk! HE saw that I was a drunken jerk with poete maudite potential!

So you see, the preceding belabored tale tells why Bob Holman can get jiggy with Hank Kissinger in Kent, Connecticut on any given weekend (Dr. Kissinger will probably plead plausible denial of my asseverations). And by the way, the book being discussed is really edited (and beautifully so) by one Marjorie Tesser.

But the subject at hand is the text Bowery Women: Poems. The text has 76 pomes by 76 wimmin swimmin in the Parnassian Ocean o’ The Bowery Potree Club. Of the 76ers, some are quite well known -- I refer, of course, to such luminaries as Anne (Whoa!) Waldman, Jessica Hagedorn (Philippines born and bred! And -- she wrote a book [among quite a few others] called Dream Jungle {a blue diamond title}), Maureen Owen (MO OH !!!), Janine Pommy Vega (another being who knows everybody and has been everywhere -- although she don’t know me -- but I don’t think she’s losing any sleep over that fact), and Patricia Spears-Jones (I’m gonna tell you straight out. Do not mess wit’ P. S-J! She really is one strong woman).

The five aforementioned plus 71 equals a Book Garden of Earthly and Celestial Delights. Just think on these names: Alana Ruben Free (gee-zuzz! whuttaname!), Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz (yes. yes. YES!!!), Ann Bettison Enzminger (That’s whut ah sed…,), Jennifer Blowdryer (after a tingly, soothing shampoo), and Zhang Er (wellsir, ‘round these parts, folks jes’ call her Er). I could go on, but I won’t. All 76 are wonderful, including Reggie Cabico (Senator, I know Reggie Cabico. I shook Reggie’s right hand on New Year’s Day, 2007. And Senator, Reggie Cabico is no Reggie Cabico. Oh Yes Reggie Is ! I was jus’ kiddin’).

Now, I can’t give a roll call of all 76 of ‘em. I mean. The Colts jus’ beat The Bears in The Super Bowl (Prince did an incredible half-time show). Does that mean I have to memorize both team’s complete rosters!? Including the defensive coordinators!?? Come on. I got things to do. I gotta defrost my rusty Subaru – that in itself takes about an hour in the NE rust-belt (♪ She Wore a ♪ Yeller Rust ♪ Belt…,♪).

Whut I am gonnadew is quote out sum outstandin’ laahhns from my partikewlar favoritos. Afteryewbyethuhbookyewcandoolahkwhahzz (yu juz reduhrunnon stetmuhn).

Startin’ up: The Poet Cynthia Kraman. The Poem "Speak in the Dark"

O ocean’s glassy waves, speak in the dark
O sticky countertops, speak in the dark
O uncontrolled thoughts, speak in the dark
O mountain, mouse, morass, speak in the dark
Running blood, ampersand, speak in the dark
Mossy stone, silent lark, speak in the dark
O remaindered poetry, speak in the dark

Kraman lays out 14 more lines like the above stuff. If you can’t hear that magic, there’s nuthin’ ikendoo to help whutalesyuh, Doc.

Next please: The Poet Jackie Sheeler. The Poem "Marlboro Woman"

I started killing myself at twelve
with Mom’s Pall Malls and Dad’s Lucky Strikes
but I’ve always been the impatient type, needed
to kill myself a little faster, found

more exotic poisons:…,

We called it hair-on in the ghetto
talking shit while blood dripped to the concrete
of abandoned building alleys from our veins.

Jackie S. knows where she’s bin. How ‘bout you? How ‘bout me?

And (of course): The Poets The O’Debra Twins The Poem "Puppet Love"

I have a confession to make. I think The O’Debra Twins are Fabulous! I am their unknown love-slave! I don’t care who knows it. So there.

The very day shall come, yea, when The O’Debras, yea, shall vaunt above, yea, even those twin, yea, beasts of the Apocko -------!!! Yes! Them!

I refer, of course, to (yes) Oh-Purra & the insidual (aaargh) FizzissionFill !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Their poem "Puppet Luhv" is actually a PLAY (yaay!!!). It is far superior to Stoppard’s doppelslop The Coasts of Utopia (and the amazing thing is…, regular people and irregular people are actually allowed ( ! ) to come inside ( !!! ) the extremely important BOWERY POETRY CLUB and enjoy the O’Debras performances !!!!! The only people allowed to sit and numbsnore through U2oo-Pia’s Coastwaddle are Neilsin Mandelowicz and Susan Saranrap! Methinks Tom will embrace Tony like Liz Tailor on the National Velveeta Pony. The point being - Puppet Love is a Laff-Rot. I love puppets. QED.

So I think you should really check out Bowery Women: Poems.

Women. Poetry. Kwite-a-Kombo.


M.. LeClerc is a poet. And, as such, not yet distinguished from all the other bewildered ones & multiples driving divers all-wheel drive “sport” utility vehicles through stormthermal Norsestikold sturmvintners. LeClerc resides in a navy blue color community with his spouse The Distinguished American Poet Janet Hamill. Jayo plays guitar and reads a lot of books & other things. He even has a 1977 F train local subway schedule in his vast, superterranean library. JOLC is sometimes thought vexatious, and, yes, yes, even lunautical bleu by faux haute bourgeois white fakes. In spite of, or, perhaps, because, of (not precluding other possible reasons), such white spite, LeClerc has some fantastic friends. Such as. The scintillant S’s (Patricia & Bill), The NaturallyVeryNice N’s (Jen & Phil), Song-Writing’s Mazda Master Andy J, Rockabilly Search Wizard Matty G, and (of course) zine eddy-aytor & whoa-ever so evermerry great saintrix known here (within this document) -- on these most cryptick & (Shall we not say so Sir ?) most fantastical labarynthium (devised so & so disguised so kleverlee & (oh so verily they are) so the magickal mysticulous & caramba-la-la spacie saycheekie pages so only, AND, it is so necessarily Dee-sew-tow-Dakota-Po-tay-tuh-toe, as the only, but, nevereverknow (no -- not ever) lonely -- through wind, rain, and, yea, bitter storm snow -- the Brave, the Courageous, the Famously Good, yea, (and we indeed shall say Sir) code page.


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