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

September 22, 2017

Super Dan Makes a Public Appearance

Super Dan, a pretty popular superhero who takes the front lines in a series of poems in Horn Section All Day Every Day is not conversant with the wiles of spirits, as David Kirby refers to in his blurb for my book in the post below this. Here's one of the Super Dan Question Box Series poems, and at its bridge you'll see for yourself Super Dan's encounter with elixir—


              No man is a hero to his valet.
                 —Mlle. Aisse, Lettres

Super Dan: Where I come from we do not run
with crosswind. You did once
at the wildlife park, with the she-lion.
Hope was the two of you were bonding
from either side of the sixteen-foot
chain-link fence. When she stopped, you stopped, when
she pivoted, you pivoted. When she silently settled
into pounce-mode your memory
flipped back to twenty years
of housecats. The dilated eyes, two black saucers.
The shoulder muscles under fur, tense with the
exactitude of hard labor. The rubbing of her shoulder
blades a private encouraging undertone.
In you the blood fell to your feet
as an avalanche. Meat. But— 
she harbored no spite, no jealousy, no predetermined
disgust, didn’t favor your jeweled rings or lust
for your husband. You were merely
close enough to matter some.
But for that fence.
Or rather the four feet of it
she could not leap.

Just look at this human predilection for daredevil stunts—
motorcycle jumping over quarter-mile-wide canyons!
Or the enormous dirt arena
and the gigantic slapdash pile of junked cars,
and barreling smack into that pile 
another souped-up junk car dragging
a hay truck on fire!
Never will be the day
when one hermit crab says to the other
hermit crab, “Hey Joey, light my
shell on fire
and I’ll run into the sea.”

Super Dan receives hot chocolate
in a large steaming cup, then pours into it quite a bit
of a new superdelicious beverage not
available on his planet, something
creating a fondness in him, they call it Kahlùa—

At my home we accept we live until we don’t.
Even with what creeps us. Look at your world’s Komodo
Dragon with its man-dropping saliva, the brown
recluse violin-coifed spider, the primordial
scorpion, siren of hurt in its curved blond tail. The tail
itself a marvel of grotesque, agile as one human
index finger, the flexion, the extension, but—
for all their misgivings, they’re not out calculatedly
picking the lock of your home. A delicacy
set upon a silver platter
to them would be absurd excess. Eat
or protect. Unadorned
as the trundling, snuffling brown bear
on the pine hilltop, making the most
of the furrow in front of him.
It is not the bear on the hill with servant bears.

Originally published in The Los Angeles Review, 2013
Winner of the 2012 Red Hen Press Poetry Award
Judge: Jericho Brown
originally titled "Super Dan Comics Question Box Series #18"

Thank You, David Kirby

Advance praise from David Kirby, 
for my next book of poetry, Horn Section All Day Every Day, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in February/2018~

Old-school songs play through and beneath these soulful poems, the radio hits of rhythm ‘n’ blues pioneers like Solomon Burke and Junior Wells. Yet what lifts our journey to a whole other level is the presence of a winsome comic hero named Super Dan, an extraterrestrial with a canine curiosity about human life, from the alcoholic beverages we favor to the intricacies of women’s lingerie. Playing Virgil to our Dante, Super Dan takes us deep into that most mysterious of worlds, our own. Beauty awaits you, reader, as do laughter and music. -- David Kirby

Everything Looks Bigger in Pencil

Jason Seiler is an illustrator who'll make your knees go weak, his work is that great. One time I said to him "I bet you can't draw me under 3 minutes" and darned if two thing: 1) he didn't prove me wrong and, 2) my schnoz is more giant than I think it is.

September 19, 2017

Booker & Trilby

Going into the deep memories file for the cadre of poems I'm looking to stare into the eye of, next. Might have to cue up some Iron Butterfly. Might have to purchase supplemental health insurance. Might have to pull out the mauve phone book with all those phone numbers in it. Phone numbers so old all the area codes are sectioned off now. Might be time to finally get that dog. Two dogs.

September 17, 2017

Thank You, Cynthia Hogue

Advance praise from Cynthia Hogue, 
for my next book of poetry, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in Feb/2018~

Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow’s new collection, Horn Section All Day Every Day, dazzles like a Brass band, wild and bold as a trumpet, delicately plaintive as a lone French horn. Although there are stunning poems about animals throughout, which shift the tone of the volume, at its heart is the story of Super Dan, an extraterrestrial superhero who comes to Earth to study and stays to marry the witty, earthy woman he falls in love with. “love me and be my kiss,” Super Dan sighs to his wife. This book, a veritable “trove of ardor,” is filled with the emotional force and beauty of that love. -- Cynthia Hogue