Friday, December 23, 2011

David Clewell reviews my new poetry chapbook, "The Shape of a Man"

So like I was saying, Amy VanDonsel and I have co-curated a group art show where I'll release my new chapbook of poetry on Intagliata Imprints (printed by Firecracker Press): The Shape of a Man.

The art show, also called The Shape of a Man, goes down 7-11 p.m. Friday, January 6 at Mad Art Gallery, 2727 So. 12th St. in St. Louis. The event will be a potluck catered by men who cook.

From 8-8:30 p.m. -- that is only a half-hour of live poetry, for those given the hives by live poetry -- I'll perform a few poems from my new chapbook.

I'm given hives by live poetry, so I'll perform duets with musicians: Fred Friction (spoons), Roy Gokenbach (electric guitar) and Josh Weinstein (double blass, clarinet). Furthermore, I will perform through a sculpture, With Solid Stance and Stable Sound by Noah Kirby.

Since even thirty minutes of me live as poet, even with musicians and a sculpture, is too much without a break, I'll do two micro sets and a real poet, St. Louis' and Salt Lake City's own Stefene Russell, will perform one manly poem in between.

To pump up the release of this chapbook, which someone else is paying for and I want him to get his money back!, I asked Missouri poet laureate and my old buddy David Clewell to advance-review my book. And here is what Clewell said:


Musician/poet/agent provocateur Chris King discovers some acutely painful sharp angles that contribute to The Shape of a Man. These are poems full of beer, bad guys, car rides, near-talismanic ears of corn, and a laundromat where the speaker’s determined to see his dirty laundry through, all the way to dry—to “pay for / heat, finish something, for once.”

If there’s sadness and regret along the way, these voices manage to find their own kind of resolve in the tenacity of their singing—the distinctive music King makes of language that can’t help saying how, sometimes, it’s amazing we’re still here. In “I Love Taverns When They’re Empty,” the speaker insists that “…it takes courage to enter a bar / when it’s empty, that, or / desperation. I admire courage and find / the desperate quotable.”

I admire the honest desperation in this collection, and I find the courage nothing less than quotable.

—David Clewell


Image is the print "Re-in-cur-nation" by George D. Davidson III, which will be exhibited at The Shape of a Man.

1 comment:

claire hyman said...

Congrats Chris. As so usual I was out of town, sadly missed your presentation of poetry as a sculpture, way too good to miss but...

Hope Chapbook is a big success.

p.s. what are 'html tags' for?