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After Forever Changes, Poems by Joseph Gastiger
The graceful lyrical paragraphs of After Forever Changes create a world where the eternal collides with the temporal, and the only constant truly is change.
“These poems are little gems. Compressed well-chosen words that sparkle throughout the collection. Whether perfect reminiscences of a flower child describing the forgotten Seventies to contemporary social commentary, the writing is spot on. Dedicated to other poets, friends, and Jean, many of the pieces animate a history. The Human Voice, for Randall Jarrell, tells of the painful life of Blind Willie Johnson, who ‘took up guitar, learned how to slide a pocket knife along strings to make them beg, cheat, bleed, and moan.’ The reader will appreciate this poet’s skill as he puts an entire day, season, lifetime, into one compassionate passage. It is clear; he is a master storyteller.”—Michael Haines, Good Samaritan, epicure, prairie ecologist, and co-creator of Mother Sunshine
“Turn a corner in Joe Gastiger’s After Forever Changes and you might encounter Blind Willie Johnson moaning over his blues guitar, Paul Gauguin with a monkey on a gold chain, a photo of Dick Gregory being defaced by a quiet American, Mata Hari refusing a blindfold before her firing squad, Pretty Boy Floyd tearing through a pumpkin patch, Marilyn Monroe’s face glowing on the moon, and ‘warehouses of Etch-a-Sketches and Bombay gin.’ It’s as if Scheherazade meets Jorge Luis Borges on the Cyclone at Coney Island, and their tales are recorded by Harpo Marx, who’s reading Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not. But while this collection transports us far through space and time, it always embraces those cheated by the powerful. Readers will witness, in After Forever Changes, spirits in ‘pursuit of ecstasy, ultimate wonder, intimate alchemy.’ But then if we’re as honest as this author, we’ll recognize this pursuit as our own.”—John Bradley, author of Dear Morpheus, The Glue That Is You
ISBN: 978-1625494382, 102 pages, softcover
Also by Joseph Gastiger