Book Review for ESPESANTES:

Subterranean Blue Poetry

Volume VI Issue IX

ESPESANTES, the illuminated word

Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: ESPESANTES

Author: Stuart Ross

Publisher: above/ground press

Date of Publication: 2018

Pages: 40

Do you feel anything, hummingbird?
Back and forth, cheap endings
Let's be friends, hummingbird”
- from Hummingbird by Wildling

Art Nouveau in a celebration of original absurdist images and hummingbird transcendence, ESPESANTES by Stuart Ross and above/ground press. This work is inspired by Sarah Moses’ Chapbook in Spanish, As they say (Socios Fundadores, 2016). Stuart Ross (Poet, publisher, teacher) lives and works in Cobourg, Ontario. He runs the micropress, Proper Tales, in its 40th year of operation and was the Writer in Residence at Queen’s University (2010). He has authored 20 books, poetry, essays, fiction, numerable chapbooks and been published in journals.

The cover has a very riveting picture of a hummingbird in black and white that suggests poetry, eagerly This Writer opens the book. The title of this Chapbook, ESPESANTES means thickeners in Spanish and so begins a revelry in absurdist images that spills across the page, a Poet raving at the sky. Perhaps influenced by nonsensical DaDaist forms, perhaps Absurdist Theatre, a protest at a hidden power struggle in the background, the discordant images are painful and perhaps an attempt at illumination of some dark violence.

“A work camp opened

just down the street

for people who

write music that

makes people cry.

I see them cutting

the grass, giving haircuts

to the local children,

hauling rocks. Hum

and be shot, a sign says.”

The words are sparse, pared in in very short Beat tradition beats. Each word considered, sure footed, of a Poet who has been writing for a longtime, a conversation with angels. As if written in mythos, a dialogue in illumination of angst and precepts of systemic violence.

“She danced as if

nobody could see

her skeleton. Her

skeleton stood in

the alley, babbling

about Kilimanjaro.”

Perhaps a revelation of some great suffering the beginning poems exist in some Existential ad nauseum, a hard space, only to blossom at the end into a Transcendence that suggests positive change, giving hope. The image of the hummingbird throughout the work, a beautiful illumination.

A Beat poetry progression in fantastical absurdist images that flies, a beautiful blue hummingbird bird. A great Canadian poetry offering, ESPESANTES by Stuart Ross.

Available at above/ground press.

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2018