The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Find a quote from page 56.
Review, of sorts, to follow.
This is the book I'm highlighting right now---
Title: Lighthead by Terrance Hayes
Book Beginning: from the poem, "Lighthead's Guide to the Galaxy"
Ladies and Gentlemen, ghosts and children of the state, I am here because I could never get a hang of Time.Friday 56: from the poem, "Satchmo Returns to New Orleans"
You are the greasy Daddy of Jazz. Peasy Daddy.Summary and review: Lighthead won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2010. I am reading it as part of a personal reading challenge to read at least two per year of the National Book Award winners for the last ten years. There are four, now five categories of awards: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people's literature, and now a work in translation. I wanted to read a volume of award winning poetry and this thin volume seemed to fit the bill.
You are the brassy Mother of Jazz, the bellowing bastard of jazz,
Sweet-trumpting strupet of jazz. Easy Daddy;
A hankie full of toots and zooting, Mister Sadmo.
The first poem, "Lighthead's Guide to the Galaxy", was an homage to a favorite book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, though I didn't figure it out myself from the verses. I did like a few other lines from this poem. This one speaks to my need to read poetry--- "Maybe Art's only purpose is to preserve the Self." And this quote seems like good advice---"Brothers and sisters, when you spend your nights out on a limb, there's a chance you'll fall in your sleep."
The second poem I highlighted from 56% on my Kindle, "Satchmo Returns to New Orleans" was very fun. Satchmo is a nickname for Louis Armstrong and the poem is full of titles of many of his famous songs. The mention of all the songs chased me to YouTube to listen to some of them, played by the master himself.
Here is one of my favorites:
Though I liked a few poems in the collection, most of them confused me, some even left me feeling flat. I didn't figure out why until I read the Author's Notes at the end. Apparently Mr. Hayes was playing around with poetic and other written forms and styles. One is called pecha kucha, a Japanese business presentation format where the presenter narrates or riffs on twenty images connected to a single theme for twenty seconds of time. No wonder I didn't get it.
I leave you with this snippet. Though it references an elephant I related to the sentiment:
"...everything is punctured by the tusks of Nostalgia."
from "The Elegant Tongue"
National Book Award Personal Challenge selection.