Issue 4 - Winter 2011
Arranging the Blaze
Beasts and Violins
Eating Fruit Out of Season
Something Must Happen
The Apocalypse Tapestries
The Darkened Temple
The Kingdom of Possibilities
The Tyranny of Milk
This Pagan Heaven
Woman on a Shaky Bridge
You Know Who You Are
David Livingstone Clink's Eating Fruit Out Of Season (Tightrope Books, 2008) welcomes the reader into a world of shifting voices, tones and perspectives. Each poem opens up into another as if you are sifting through soil with each layer yielding richer and richer earth. The first thing you notice is Clink’s use of altering perspectives. Each poem seems to be speaking in many voices and all of them come through clear and strong. Midway through the collection, you begin to feel as though you are sitting across the table from him, having a steaming espresso, while he casually tells you these stories. But there is nothing casual or haphazard about this collection. Clink pulls out all the stops and techniques then adds to it an unrelenting sense of humor about the world around him.
His use of space between stanzas in “Food Chain” not only adds emphasis but becomes a part of the music of the poem:
Clink’s poems range in style, which add to the variation as he handily shifts into list and prose poems. Clink explores now, dives into his past and allows his readers a glimpse into the future. But, he keeps one foot and his reader firmly planted in the present. In “The Forecast” the simple image of an umbrella become the catalyst for a future vision:
Clink’s list poems include: “Flowers on a One Way Street”; “The Moon Belongs to Everyone”; “Now it Can Be Told”; and my favorite “Venus Rising From the Sea.” These are not merely listings of images and ideas. These are poems filled with curious and unexpected connections approached with humor and depth.
No other poem in the collection shows off Clink’s flair for shifts like “Exhibit” We are traveling at once within the museum, visiting his past, and listening to what he is thinking in the present. And he doesn’t miss a beat; we are with him all the way.
“Dust” is a four-part poem leaping off of quotes from Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin, Chuck Yeager and Orville and Wilbur Wright. With this poem, as with the entire collection, Clink takes us from the earth, to the moon and the stars, and back again:
While reading Eating Fruit Out of Season you feel as though time, space and the continuum are gathering to view the world in a whole new way. Clink does this so well, we are willing to follow along accepting every shift in tone, voice and perspective standing right by his side for the entire ride.
Reviewed by Joan Hanna.