Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Five Star Review from Number 7

49 of 59 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Gut Responses Against the Grain of Tradition, March 25, 2008
By Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Patrick Walker is an individualist, a man so comfortable in his skin and his world of observation and creation that he seems to have little need for not only the contemporary mechanics that could make his life of writing simpler, but for the recognition and applause most poets hope to find. The product of an Irish Catholic upbringing, he has managed to walk his own path apparently unconcerned about the grit of 'employment', but instead finds his life of support from writing and editing scholastic materials while immersing himself in his favored study of the works of 17th century French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal and 20th century economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek. And how does this information aid in reading the poetry Walker has composed during the past twenty five years? The reader must turn to the at times enigmatic poems contained in this slim but pungent volume to appreciate the result.

Walker's way with words is at times gritty and acerbic, at times philosophical and still at other times naughty and sensual and even elegant. It is difficult to come away from reading 'The Unholy War (For Michael Olscheske, 1956 - 1989) without a completely fresh view of friendship and kinship: it is a song fit for an Irish wake, both in content and in form. Walker tinkers with Haiku (successfully), plays with cadence and rhyme at will, takes on tongue in cheek topics as in 'Litany for a Common Whore', writes some poems in French and others on a theme and variation after Baudelaire, and utters the tenderest of small songs as in 'Tristitia Post Coitum' or 'Belladonna'.

For this reader Patrick Walker is a minstrel, a man who wanders his world breathing in life and breathing out these beautifully constructed poems. This is one of the more refreshingly different collections of poems to be published in a while and the moods these poems elicit are touchingly made visual with the art of Virginia Cody subtly offering breathing space. Grady Harp, March 08

Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker

An Excerpt from Pegasus at the Plow Plus Some New Work

To a Young Boy at the Funhouse

I watch you down corridors of my past,

Strange boy of six with the maze yet to run;

Fetch me the thread when you come round at last.

Of much brisker blood, like you, when I last

Lent heart to this quest you endure for fun,

I watch you down corridors of my past.

Presumptuous child, you scoff at a task

Heroes of well-tempered mettle might shun;

Fetch me the thread when you come round at last.

As shadows sprout horns, unsettling your casque,

Will brave sweat bedeck it like dew in the sun?

I watch you down corridors of my past.

One day we’ll swap yarns, and slaying our flask,

We’ll boast of toy monsters our quests have undone.

Fetch me the thread when you come round at last.

Dare we then boast how young legends outlast

Those bright, comfy halls modern Minotaurs run?

I watch you down corridors of my past;

Fetch me the thread when you come down at last.

My Calvinist Mirror

Each morning wash

I dart my tongue

At all damned youth can’t see:

That frog rasp in

One’s princely throat

Spells more than puberty.

On Growing Up a Poet in Today’s America

To walk among grownups

And keep a straight face

Takes genius for doublethink:

Where frat boys get fitted for world leader’s shoes,

Where Pharisees proudly hawk Christ,

Where the soon-to-be-dead

Sweat each pulse of their stocks

And seldom take stock of their lives,

Where billionaires earn more than nations

While we cringe for their property rights,

Where farmland’s despoiled

To build silicon worlds

While the real hack their chips just to eat;--

Where farce wields the scepter of adult norm

With scarcely a curl of our lips,

And reality itself’s

Dubbed a growth-stunting vice

Our Gross National Id’s pledged to ditch,

A fool bred for seeing

Must strike most adults

As a boy with his pants unzipped.