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« In Defense of Ange Mlinko [by David Lehman] | Main | From “Game-changer: A Philosophy for Homo Ludens” [by Vid Simoniti] »

July 11, 2021


I agree, Terry. It's full of mystery; it's brief; it's also very "empathizable." As a woman, it's routine for me to have to look in the mirror. It's stunning who-all is there, and how many have exited. Thanks, Terry and Buck.--Clarinda

philosophy to jazz--maybe they're the same. I like a poem that is unselfconscious and knows it--
does not take itself too seriously but delivers something very serious.

I admire this poem's mystery-packed brevity. Also, what a fascinating bio!

I love especially the last 4 lines which describe Buck's work in general.

Thanks for that comment, Clarinda.

If this is “more,” I want to see the earlier special musics. The compact language here gets a lot into a small shaving mirror. Reincarnation in reverse—perfect. So too the Gillette ad. No stropping—what a relief.

Love this poem. I'm reading the book right now and really admire the twists at the end of many of Buck's poems: "that's his jam!"

Buck Downs clearly knows how to buckle down in his verse. Far too little attention is paid today to well-executed, short or, more accurately, succinct poems. It’s as if an amalgam of length, density, and difficulty (in form and/or subject) ensures a sufficiently serious accomplishment worthy of attention or acclaim from the Cerberuses of poetry. Give me Buck Downs’s nimble, unprolix verse delivering “more special music” on postcards from the edge any day. Consider me one of his “Buckaroos.”

And if anyone is wondering how short a poem can be while still being truly effective, consider this one by esteemed poet William Matthews (1942-1997):


border with no country

“the great glam drone” — gorgeous!

"a glass of air" says it all....
Congrats to Buck, and thanks to Terry for posting.

Thanks, Helen. Nice to hear from you.

Perhaps I don't understand this language, but his shaving mirror doesn't seem to help his face and his body is not one with his spirit, which keeps changing. But when heart and head work together, there is the harmony that was missing.

It softens the beard with every read.

Exactly why we look forward to receiving a poem from Buck each month. The unexpected, the apt, the musical.

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