What might poetry have in common with NASCAR? The appeal of speed. And since the "SC" in that acronym stands for "Stock Car," we can add the appeal of speed as a challenge met by ordinary means -- the stock material, though applied and transformed with extraordinary skills and resources.
David Rivard's marvelous new book, Sugartown , moves through familiar material, like the way a good mood and a good memory can make life seem rich and even death nearly acceptable.
Rivard's poems move through such subject matter with an exhilarating, smart pace of association and evocation. The speed of mind, compressing details and emotions, covering the maximum distance in the least time, gives this writing its thrill:
A Real, Right Thing
Like a green ludicrous tow truck
with yellow stripes & naked chrome bulldog
atop the hood, my pleasure's obvious
watchful wary arrogant & pure
the smell of warm December early the sixth
day the city men come to the park
to gather leaves half-disintegrated
already compost, that smell
there for the asking, those leaves