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In Defense of Puppets An urgent question drives this book what is it to speak for another Technology today often makes us feel as if we can speak for or as another But this is an illusion It is crucial that we remain seriously and playfully alert to the active role our imaginings have in the shaping of what we think we know of ourselves and others Poetry is vital to raising this awareness Art is puppet like, the poet Paul Celan observed This collection of poems, some in formal, some in free verse, explores the ironies, humor, emotions, and visions produced by such multifaceted puppetry, its pleasures and dangers, its role in both grief and joy, in experience and recollection This collection of poems reads like it came from everyday life, yet worded beautifully Many times I found myself nodding, connecting with the themes and issues DiMatteo addresses in his work The language is accessible and yet it conjures up a depth of imagery on par with other top notch poets Reading a poem from this collection is like having that moment of reflection we all intend to take but never seem to have time for Even those new to poetry, or readers who don t see themselves as poetr This collection of poems reads like it came from everyday life, yet worded beautifully Many times I found myself nodding, connecting with the themes and issues DiMatteo addresses in his work The language is accessible and yet it conjures up a depth of imagery on par with other top notch poets Reading a poem from this collection is like having that moment of reflection we all intend to take but never seem to have time for Even those new to poetry, or readers who don t see themselves as poetry fans, will find a lot to like here Anthony DiMatteo is, in many ways, Everybody s Poet, writing in an inclusive style, leaving no one behind What one gets from these poems will vary from reader to reader, and the poet shows incredible range DiMatteo says what we feel in those fleeting critical moments of our lives, but does so in a way few of us are capable of Take a moment to read a sample of this book The first poem, Phoning the Dead strikes a penetrating chord of memory and loss, and sets the tone for this collection After that, Still and The Republic of the Universe stand out, and each poem connects like a wire to the next a continuous circuit that grows in strength with each light in the string, creating a luminous volume of real life I want to tell you the sun is a rose Light is its scent A deeply felt, careful collection from Anthony DiMatteo, who examines life and its many responsibilities through a loving and tender lens. We are the publisher, so all of our authors get five stars from us Excerpts AFTERLIVESIt s a bad time for home and country.A war goes on everywhere and nowhere.I m thumbing through a rare facsimilecopy of Americana in the form of a bluenotebook Whitman kept, whose hopenear guttered out during the Civil War.It was his gift to us, given me by my first wife,two dusty blue volumes in a blue case.Hand of fate drops out from onein the form of a photograph taken of meby a stranger on a traghetto to Ca We are the publisher, so all of our authors get five stars from us Excerpts AFTERLIVESIt s a bad time for home and country.A war goes on everywhere and nowhere.I m thumbing through a rare facsimilecopy of Americana in the form of a bluenotebook Whitman kept, whose hopenear guttered out during the Civil War.It was his gift to us, given me by my first wife,two dusty blue volumes in a blue case.Hand of fate drops out from onein the form of a photograph taken of meby a stranger on a traghetto to Capri.Petting a dog that looks just like our dog,I wear the ribbed T shirt I wore to bedlast night, not worn in fifteen years since.My left hand in the picture and lifeis scraped below the index finger.Cut by coincidence or stroke of fate I think of loved ones no longer here,and though I know any ghostmimics me, it s as if a curtainflutters or a book opens and somevoice tells me to laugh and forgive,to feel the wild joy the universe makesin the form of a wake as it passesby us, into and out of our lives.BLACK DAYApril 20, 1989 For me, that Thursday, the hundredthanniversary of Hitler s birth, provedblacker than any night I had known.It was the day after the Central Park joggerwas left for dead, the alleged black malesnothan a bunch of boys My sisterabout to graduate from a Catholic collegewanted them hanged even after their ageswere disclosed She made this big gesture.I could not control my tongue, brokethe silence of a parliament of headsnodding in agreement But they reonly wild kids maybe and you wantstrange fruit in the park Is thisthe fruit of your education I asked How dare you she said Our father stood up So if they had raped your sisterYou d what let them livethere in the group home with you, right What kind of a man are you You re my fruitcake for a son My mother tried to calm my fatherand brother down Please go now, she said to me, let s not have trouble Have a nice day, everyone, I said, not quite at the topof my lungs On the drive home,I lost the road when the moonrose bravely in the night.How little the void between starswhen compared to glaring spacebetween thoughts, the inky lusterof a pool where souls are drowned,where a garden of death takes rootand a tree offers its blackening fruit.My car veered onto the shoulder,slipping down a bank of fatal thoughtsand their highways, their myriadbranches that shadow us together,hang us down from the sky,white, then gray clouds turning black.If there is such a thing as the rootof evil I d have to spit it outof my own mouth I d haveto hunt down the very taste of itin everything I eat, the scent of itin everyone I love Do I havethe strength to resist the sleeknessof its alluring crush uponmy palette, at the very tablewhere I break bread, the flowersof its wiliness, words that cook lifein the slow simmer of a blind sun Forgive us, O sun of the morning,should we forget to bless your daily racedifferent in kind from our rat race.Keep us from despair,benighted by the love of it.Your light makes all mankind shimmerthough we hide behind a skinmade of mind you cannot burn

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