This is a twenty-five part lyrical poem of great warmth and deft touch. The title alludes in part to an orthopedic device used to protectively cradle the traumatized head of a person. The traumatized person is the lover and the love itself.
Throughout the book Jeffrey's training as an English professor shows in clean, robust language, without getting in the way -- no pedanticism, dry exercise, or academic trickery.
And why is this? Could it be that Jeffrey, having received his last sheepskin last year, is just a regular Joe? not having been yet strained by the publish and perish cuisinart of the ivory tower?
To make this point of wholesome and unspoiled purity, we have clad his book in white linen; adorned the linen with focused hairline Classicistic evocations of gazing precision, hinging to it Garamond Condensed type, as concocted by our chez poet and constructor Marek Lugowski.
There is no inside artwork to adorn these words. Artwork would be excess. Jeffrey Thomson's calm, warm, detail-filled precis of walking through life singly and as a twosome is all the bracing lovers -- and lovers of words -- require.
The Halo Brace (fragment)
My father gazes on a blazing haze, his
Iowa prairies running to the horizon.
The grass is tall and blond and the sun
is going down. My mother joins him,
the dark tears of her hornrims pinching
her face, a squint as if she missed
something in the middle distance.
It is nineteen sixty three. The world
is changing and they don't even know,
though she will grow her hair long
and he will wear his collars wide.
They are my age and this light
is heavy with unfolding, the dark
opening across the small, yellow house
on the cul de sac. The day's last light
is long and auburn. It touches their faces
and perhaps I am speaking to them now:
You will have a son and he will love you.
And he will come to love beside a woman
with rain-dark hair.
New days, J. and I cross fields still
golden in the early autumn, watch
the wind pass through this grass
leaving patterns no one ever learns.
You will be happy while you have each other
and the world will change beneath you.
Copyright © May 1997 Jeffrey Thomson
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Copyright © 1997 A Small Garlic Press. All rights reserved.
Created 1997/5/31. Updated last on 2008/5/2.