...In-between sets from poet Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow

September 23, 2019

Divine Paraiba, Talk to Me

I'm not what you'd call adept at asking friends for favors, like "will you please review my book?" or "can you get me into the private lounge where the illustrious poet is yawning and thinking about, where did I put that credit card a few days ago or, whose phone number is this on this slip of paper and do I need this thing?" Because friends have their own lists of of "gotta-do's" up to their necks, and I'll never be comfortable pushing aside an ottoman to get my question answered, all at the expense of losing someone's respect. 
So it's looking like if you want me you'll find me at the house, usually with the mister, usually letting him watch his crazy Westerns. 
And that's why, and when I say blue, I mean out of the flawless blue, like the, oh excuse me, Her Name is Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba, sweetie, all 191.87 carats, she's a dinner plate, baby, a flawless, inclusion-less, see-through-perfection majestic piece of earth's dynasty, from the legitimate Paraiba mine-now shut down forever, mind you-and, where was I...out of the complete blue, I get an email...

Sincerely, if you have to ask, you can not come close to affording....

...from a friend, a wonderful fellow, and a good poet to boot, and a student in my poetry workshops, Al Fournier, just a great guy, who writes me, out of the complete blue (see above) this laudatory "review" of a new poem of mine just published in Plume Journal called "I'll Be Fine." So the really striking point to me is he gets it, straight on. What he writes, aside from the really sweet complimentary stuff that, hey, I appreciate very much, is exactly what this poem is essentially conveying. How happy, how lucky, I felt, to have a friend who comprehended the underscore behind the overlook. 
Al Fournier, watch for his poetry. He's coming for you.

Here's his review of "I'll Be Fine":

"I have been enjoying your poem in Plume so much. I have returned to it and read it several times. It is beautiful. Alive and a little bit heartbreaking. I love your word choice throughout. Delicious!

I feel as if the horse is poetry itself. “the most turnabout, brimful thing” to be admired and aspired to. The people cannot keep away. The people, maybe, are aspiring poets, mesmerized by the horse’s grandeur and gorgeousness.

At first, I thought maybe the horse was the poet, not be lauded from the towertops (great word). To be prevented by whomever put up the fence, from running free, from being fully appreciated.

And the bit about the Oreos is real, charming, funning and mysterious. I don’t see how it fits the whole, exactly, but it feels right. It is like a consolation prize for the speaker / poet. A human moment. While some things are beyond our reach, we can enjoy the simple pleasures.

Whether my interpretation misses the mark or not, I adore this poem. I feel its energy, the way it moves. I can see the horse’s broad shoulder in the glassy sun. I will return to look at him again later."


Thank you, Al.
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