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PLUG NICKELS is a selection of gv simoni's poetry. He prefers to consider the poems as word games rather than poetry. While the poems are written in free verse, there is some structure to each of the pieces. Some of the poems appear in PLUMP BLACK CROWS, his collection of stories and poems.
PLUMP BLACK CROWS is a collection of five stories and five poems all from gv simoni's early work. The stories explore the sometimes subtle, often brutal interplay between the creations of nature and the constructs of man. The first story, 'The Agnostic,' looks at a young man's first public humiliations that occur at church and at school. The last story, 'Another Day,' recounts the mundane doings and nostalgic memories of an old man 'doing time' on a cold and rainy day . In between the three remaining stories explore the burgeoning friendship between an old veteran climber and a young tyro, an infidelity both physical and intellectual that divides two one-time friends, and the self-loathing of a man scarred by war, by family, and by society.
The poems provide a counterpoint to the stories. They are more word games than poetry. Concrete images are blended with abstract notions to create impressions that tease the intellect and kindle the emotions.
|The Illusion of Plurals,|
The cluster of buildings that was MacKensie sat in its cleared patch of forest in its valley all hemmed about by ridges, the sky immense overhead, the stars galling with their glow and twinkle. The new highway had gone north through Santiam Pass, the old highway became, then, simply Main Street, the town truncated, kept small by circumstance, cut off within its loops of river and ridge. With the welcome cold settling down from the ridges, displacing the hot day, with fog rising from the pond, with the midnight darkness complete save for a small pool of light shining through the shaded windows of the Crosscut Cafe and from the bare bulb above the post office door, MacKensie slumbered. Across the street from the cafe, flickering loops of red neon proclaimed Bights Saloon; and just below that, a yellowed white sign that read LOSED. West down Main Street, three ravens strutted toward the old W.P.A. Bridge. Trash from an overturned barrel decorated a small park. Tattered flagging hung limp from the eaves of Wagnall's service station. The 4th of July loomed. And so did the outcome of a bet between two of MacKensie's rather iconoclastic citizens. Joe Murchison and Willard Crenshaw had been feuding for weeks. Now Murchison has to climb Grants Mountain by the 4th or leave town. If the mountain is climbed, Crenshaw is out lock, stock, and barrel. The outcome turns on a surprising change in the weather and an equally surprising change of heart.
CONVERSATIONS WITH A HYPOXIC DOG is a collection of essays, stories and poems from gv simoni's later work. The book explores the nuances of both the physical and the metaphysical. Prose, poetry and prose poems offer up insight into life's little indigestions.
|After the Death|
Robert Francis Kennedy,
The fall of 1968. The place: San Francisco. Faced with the classic dilemma of the 60s and 70s, that of fight or flight, Thomas Malleus wanders to a solution. The novel is cast in the form of the classic five paragraph essay; but its style is more that of free verse. A word game. Malleus, something of an outcast, seeks to cast off the shibboleths that come with the American way of life: personal. religious, and social. The story is really about words and grammar. 'Talk is cheap' is a common idiom, a bit of homely philosophy. Though talk be thought cheap, language (words) is essential; for language is what we use to create the concepts that become our worlds. Beyond the concepts? Neverland.
AMIGOS is a farcical, often satirical, novel that pokes and pulls at American culture in particular and world culture in general. Both detective story and saga, sometimes slapstick then again droll, the tale acknowledges the persistence and ingenuity of the conquistadores and inquisitors of the planet. If the meek are to inherit the earth, they'd best get a move on.
Consulting Huang Po
CONSULTING HUANG PO is a long narrative combining poetry with prose. Central to the story are the poems of 17th century Japanese wordsmith Bashō. Protagonist James Lee Cunningham teaches a course on the poet's Narrow Road To the Deep North. His university students, his friends, and his wife Mia Sakai interact to weave their own way along the cobbled paths and muddy tracks from the Sea of Japan to Corvallis, Oregon.
WITHERED GRASS is a translation of selected prose excerpts ad various poems written by the 17th century Japanese wordsmith Bashō. Two versions of Japanese, character and romanization, and an English translation are presented. The ideograms or characters of Japanese (like their Chinese counterparts) are representational. Our alphabet is symbolic. Including both versions of the poem provides some depth of understanding.
Killings and koans, mayhem and metaphysics, the DoubleNickel Detective stories serve up the usual mix of characters, clues, and conundrums. Called DoubleNickel as a boy for his thick glasses, and 'Nick' as a college man, he remains without a name in the stories. He is a brown paper sack, a rumpled suit, a mutt of mixed ancestry. His father is Japanese; his mother is Irish. He is sardonic with a penchant for wit and whiskey. He is a private cop who lines up with the hard-boiled boys. Might be more here than meets the eye.
The Blind Geisha
Elizabeth sat in her rocking chair at the window writing. The woman was visually impaired, legally blind. Macular degeneration was the culprit. Incurable. She was resigned. Through her window she saw a mottled picture of grays and points of black, straight lines, and glare. Turing her head just so brought a good deal more clarity. Typical of the disease. She saw the distant horizon, some vacancy that was ocean. She was 81 years old.
I will finish this project. Grace is a godsend, she thought. And the new laptop. She typed: synchronicity. She had looked it up. Again. In Wikipedia was this:
Synchronicity is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.
So begins The Blind Geisha. Three stories are told: Elizabeth, her childhood friend Micki, and a blind geisha from the 15th century. In literature or other arts, synchronicity is defined as a representation in the same frame of two or more events which occurred at different times. Such are the lives of the three women in The Blind Geisha.
A 'saltarello' is a lively dance form in which hops or jumps are featured. The word 'satire' derives from the same Latin root word. This book is a compilation of the eclectic short stories of gv simoni.