Book Review for In My Ear Continuously Like a Stream:

Subterranean Blue Poetry

Volume VI Issue IV

In My Ear Continuously Like a Stream

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: In My Ear Continuously Like a Stream

Author: Geoffrey Nilson

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2017

Pages: 20

“And in the streets: the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed”
- from American Pie by Don McLean

In My Ear Continuously Like a Stream is a fantastical New Age Cento by Geoffrey Nilson, who is a member of Qayqayt and Musqueam First Nations. Geoffrey Nilson (writer, musician, poetry editor, multimedia artist, father) has had 3 chapbooks published as well as being published in Canada and internationally. He is a Poetry Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine and former Editor at The Rusty Toque. He has been shortlisted for a major award (Far Horizons Award for Poetry (The Malahat Review)) and received an Honourable Mention for his poetry manuscript, the Alfred G. Bailey Poetry Prize (2015).

This long poem begins with the quote, "Only barbarians can write good poetry" by Sherwin Cody, This Writer laughs quietly to herself and settles in for a great read.

A call to arms, a truth-telling and a protest of the cultural diaspora/chaos infiltration of Canada/N. A. This is a Cento, composed of lines of poetry from On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger, The Outsider by Albert Camus, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway, New Directions Selected Works of Ezra Pound, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, New Directions Henry Miller Reader, The Bush Garden by Northrope Frye, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, The Prince by Machiavelli, Candide by Voltaire, and 1984 by George Orwell. A Cento poem is traditionally a form of protest against a corrupt elite. Every second page or so is a pictograph of broken writing, either lines of writing submerged in each other or clipped words spread haphazardly across the page and decimated writing.

The disjointed thought train poetry, enigmatic and surrealistic presents a dialectic, as if an arguement within shadows. Different themes emerge, including the state of poems, poetry, Poets and writers and “the weather” the state of Community/Society Canada. Perhaps a lament that the arts are underfunded and possibly undercelebrated by the majority of Canadians and the lonely artist continues his craft, the perfect poem a lonely testament.

“[the Canadian poet cannot emulate
for it is written that the mere fact of being
                                         expresses something.”


“this is why nearly all good Canadian poets despair:
higher forms of life are so often destroyed by the lower.]”

Perhaps also a lament for the state of our personal lives, lost or misconstrued

“the pilgrims, the fresh slaughter
laid well in rows and bundles.
had you not gold enough? the place
to make a fire of lament
to find a site and build the world
on top of this.]”

A brilliant write for a long winter, In My Ear Continuously Like a Stream, by Geoffrey Nilson and above/ground press.

Available @ above/ground press.

Subterranean Blue Poetry

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