Vagabond Press - Poetry
It takes a nation bent on home repair
and self improvement to destroy
--from "The Close Followers" in Lives by Lucas Hunt, p. 41
Sometimes I wonder if this is the local insane asylum
for the squirrel kingdom,
Their version of a hospital for the psychotic.
Then I observed others in the neighborhood
And traveled to different towns, to the countryside
In hopes of spotting one stable squirrel, yet saw none.
To the contrary, my studies find these cute little animals
To be clear--they revel in perilous situations.
--from "The Business of Squirrels" in Lives by Lucas Hunt, p. 52
I ordered a copy of Lives after Simon Van Booy recommended that his followers follow Lucas Hunt on either Twitter or Facebook -- I can't recall which. Hunt has a newer book out, Light on the Concrete, but I was unable to locate a copy (I'm pretty sure it hadn't been released, yet), so I just grabbed what I could find in order to get a taste of his writing. Simon told me he and Lucas have been friends for 17 years.
The description, copied from Paperback Swap:
Lives is a rich and lyrical collection of poems - both a passionate and occasionally ironical account of life in a modern world of infinite possibility. Here is the full spectrum of the varied colors of human experience from the pleasantly erotic to the disturbingly violent. The poet breaks from contemporary forms of expression to confront reality and the beyond, and to communicate powerful truths about eternal situations. Filled with vivid (and visceral) imagery of work, love, dreams, and death, these poems celebrate the phenomenal aspects of life while acknowledging the futility of our continual search for meaning. The need for ritual, reason, and intoxication all serve as (black) comic relief from the all too common experience of tragedy. Hear this invocation from one of the new poets of our age: Of origins beyond explanation, ruled by laws unknown, Come spirit of poetry, muse, sing us something new!
Actually, I didn't find the poetry in Lives at all lyrical. But, Lucas Hunt's poetry is definitely passionate, full of imagery, and unique. I think the book is very aptly titled. Lives crosses a broad spectrum; Hunt observes life, people, animals. I mentioned in a past post that I've watched a video of Hunt reading his poetry and he comes across as charming and funny. His writing might lead you to believe otherwise, at least in this book, as it can be a little dark. But, sometimes it is definitely ironic or humorous.
The bottom line:
Not a favorite book of poetry, but I still enjoyed reading Lives and came out of the reading with a few favorite poems and passages. I hope to eventually read his newer book, Light on the Concrete.