Tuesday, May 06, 2008


And sing against the cold

In the mail last week came Snow Has Fallen, a CD of poems and songs by Timothy Young and Yata Peinovich. I've known Tim Young for many years by now; this was my first introduction to Yata Peinovich. The poems and music on this disk are a great pleasure and delight to listen to.

Whether reading his work on the page or hearing him read it out loud, I've always liked Tim Young's willingness to let go of all harnesses, cast away fear, and jump into a poem all at once. He has written much about the joy and difficulty in men and women trying to relate with each other, the heat and the coolness, the great dance and, sometimes, the wound. Many of his poems reach into the connections between deep pain and intimacy and the public events and occasions of the larger world.
If someone touched you wrongly,
if you weep through the night
if your life is a river of sadness
If brown clouds are rising and the sun's fading too fast
If the water's dark and angry
If you're losing your work, your children are crying
If your home is no longer your castle
If you don't own your soul
If you're looking for a way out
If you're ready to hold and be held
(From the poem "My Heart Is Your Home" on the above CD.)

Over the years, here in Minneapolis, I've taken part in various poetry writing and performing groups, sometimes impromptu, sometimes organized with intention. I've lost count of the number of times I've gathered with poet friends in a church basement, a small bookstore, a hippie cafe after closing time, to read poems and beat and tap on various drums and bells and woodblocks, improvising our way through another joyfully disheveled night. Bare pipes and concrete walls and thinned-out rugs, a used couch in the corner on its last legs. Tim was frequently among us in our mixed-bag gatherings. I recall one evening at the Seward Cafe on East Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis when he showed up with a buffalo bone he'd found in a gravel pit somewhere outside the city. He used it to thump on a large round drum all evening.

The old man pulls the blues
from deep in the earth
His licks are twinkling
like old sea fossils
asleep in a limestone bed.
There's no traffic in this small town
so I stand in the middle of the street
The moon's a bone over the road.
Tonight no dogs will sleep.
(From the poem "Best Blues," again from the CD Snow Has Fallen.)

The best of Tim Young's poems read as though they have been written by a geographer who has just emerged from mapping the interior bones of the earth. My thanks to Tim for sending the disk of poems and song. His words are set off brightly by the soulful and sparkling music of Yata Peinovich (vocals and guitars), Bruce Hecksel (guitars, bass and percussion), Dalyce Elliott playing exquisite violin, and the various others who have contributed.

Take a walk on the bright side of the moon with the poems and music of Timothy Young, Yata Peinovich and friends.

Dear Lyle,

I'm very happy to find another poetry and publishing-related blog! We have one as well-- I belong to an anonymous collective that will publish one chapbook a year, created like a limited-edition piece of art, and distribute it free to subscribers. Please drop by and have a look!


We are very excited about our first little free book-- new translations of Lorca poems with drawings by yours truly. We encourage people to follow our progress as we work on our project.

Please have a look at my page, and if you'd like to exchange links, I'd be happy to put a link to A Burning Patience up on our blog! Blogging is quite new to me; if I am not posting this request in the right place, my apologies.

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