"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mongrel moments and pages of poetry

Catchy headline, huh? I just like the way the word "mongrel"  sounds. Racists forget that we're all mongrels, especially in Oklahoma.

Then there is the Mongrel Empire Press, http://www.mongrelempirepress.org and its books of poetry.

Have you considered the Norman photographer, musician and poet Nathan Brown? If that sounds like something from the book of Job, it is.

He published poems in "Not Exactly Job" in 2007, comparing himself to Job, a journey through the book he considers poetry, as do Bible scholars, with chapter and verse annotations adding  black and white  photography:  "It came bursting out of  a very dark time in my life."
Yet he sprinkles it with a wry Jewish-style humor.

I'd like to quote the entire book--I've got lines underlined and almost every page thumb-marked.   But instead, you should by it.

Here's a sampling:

In reaction to 3:3 in the poem "Not Exactly Job":
"That's what happens when you
go ahead and throw out 
what many are thinking
but are afraid to say."

12:2 & 13 from the poem "Chapter 12":
Job... my man ...what a smart ass!
And thank God for you...and for that.
We don't pay enough attention to the
smart asses in the Bible and all they teach.

"...those who carry their God in their hands."
Close your eyes and picture: Wal-Mart sacks.

42:3, From the poem "Proof":
"Surely I spoke of things I did not
things to wonderful for me to know."
 And this is proof the poet's blood
runs through your veins, Job. Proof that poetry
leaded out of all the gashes life ripped in you.

Rich. You pick it up and  keep reading. 43 pages. Then you probably pick up Job and read it. Wish it hadn't taken me three years to discover him, and Mongrel Empire. You can contact the poet at www.brownlines.com

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