Kenmore: Poem Unlimited - Book 1
The best actors in the world, either for tragedy,
comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical,
historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-
comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or
LORD POLONIUS, The Tragedy of Hamlet,
Prince of Denmark Act 2, Scene 2
In Geoffrey Gatza's latest collection he gives us his instructions for this book, "The way to/the other/Is found in/the not other." While not looking for the exact similar, he continues "fishing in the sewer gate" as he heads backwards and into his home town. But his home town, and the investigation, must include the poet's being brought up in Catholicism. In addition to the Bible, he uses other (there is that word again) canonical works of the West (the Ancient Greeks must have made quite an impression!). At times epic, at other times lyric, Gatza continues his fusion cuisine aesthetic while he feels "strange about it but I place / Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade / In the DVD player and smoke a pipe." So, pop some popcorn, get some smokes, and read about this movie cum poem.
In this exhilarating investigation marking the overdetermined space of relation between the arbitrary character of language and the singular materiality of place, Gatza insists “Kenmore may hold the key to our stability….” Kenmore, he tells us, is an otherwise anonymous village in Eerie Country, NY on the outskirts of Buffalo—a village that could be any and every village but is, in the materiality of its ordinariness, singularly unique. Like Kerouac's Lowell, O'Hara's New York or Olson's Gloucester, Gatza's Kenmore is an interminably unfolding geo-social space exhaustively filtered through the shifting textures of a kinetic imagination always in overdrive.
It is the way things change that brings the myth to Kenmore, the poet's hometown. This collection of poems is one work, divided. Blending two stories, the story of Gwion And The Wisdom Potion taken from the Mabinogi and the apocryphal apocalyptic text, The Book of Enoch. Through Devils, Giants and Dream Visions; A Magic Silver Fish of Wisdom, a witch and maple keys, the poet passes through life to a rebirth in the womb of a witch to a new life to a death that begins to look like life only to come back to find providence is truly suburbia.