Thursday, February 3, 2011

Haunt Me in the Morning by Jim Wittenberg, reviewed by BL Kennedy





Haunt Me in the Morning
Jim Wittenberg
Graffiti Kolkata
Subhankar Das, India
32 pgs
$4







The Poet

It’s not me I’m writing
about
I’m writing about someone else
someone I don’t know


Jim Wittenberg is a poet: that I will declare hands down. Now, you have probably never heard of him, for his books are hard to come by, and generally only available in small press runs. But if you have a chance to encounter any of his books, I would say purchase them. This is very true of Haunt Me in the Morning, which is the latest collection from this fine Sacramento poet.

Complaints? Oh, yes, my friend, there are always complaints, or as the late Jim Morrison said “no one here gets out alive.” And Jim Wittenberg is no exception to that rule. I have long detested collections of poetry that will place two short poems on a single page, and this is the problem with Haunt Me in the Morning. Each page has two complete poems on it. Whatever happened to the days when a poem would embrace a single page regardless whether that poem were two lines or twenty lines? It is bothersome. It is a distraction to the reader of the poems. And it feels forced when the poet places two complete poems on the same page. It is very irritating. However, I will admit that the poems show talent and integrity.

So, if you encounter Jim Wittenberg at one of the local readings here in Sacramento, or if you search for his work online, I would highly recommend the read. He’s a fine man and a talented poet.

More info here.

1 comment:

Federica Nightingale said...

I read Jim Wittemberg's book and translated some of his poems from English to Italian. I think that Jim's poetry could be defined as a "step behind minimalism". If it's true that "less is more", Jim Wittemberg teaches that it's surely true but, at the same time,he reminds us there's a huge space that can be filled when minimalism gets through the verse. His book leads the reader where a further word can't go. It's a matter of silence, it's a matter of deep listening.

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