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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Here's a chirpy little review of my recent chapbook, with Phil Hall, from above / ground press, Canada

[After a small intro about chapbooks in general, the Red-Handed blog goes on to say] One of the chapbooks in this small stash is called Shikibu Shuffle, by Andrew Burke and Phil Hall. Burke has published many books, including nine collections of poetry, while Hall is the 2011 winner of the Governor General's Award for Poetry.

Shikibu Shuffle is poetry stripped down. Stripped bare. And while there's plenty of physicality and music here, the sustaining effect comes from the total, from the whole body, and individual poems feel more like single notes -- played into the open air. And then grey, smoke-infused ones at that
nothing I see or think
means anything to me
and later
sun holds motes float
The playground here (and there is some sense of that, of soft-pedaled playing) is the kind you walk over in the rain. And this kind of resigned humour, where
God must be a boogie man
would probably go best, I think, with coffee and piling clouds and the feeling of having escaped something. 

* * * * *
Shikibu Shuffle and other stunningly original chapbooks are now available from above/ground press or the poets themselves.

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