cover image Some Life

Some Life

Joanne Kyger. Post Apollo Press, $7 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-942996-40-1

Loosely associated with the Beats and later with the San Francisco Renaissance, Kyger inhabits a singular verbal space as engaging and essential as it is offhand and self-questioning. Her latest continues to aim for a poetics that comes close as possible to actual existence and everyday spiritual practice: ""The simple timeless `it's all right' satori/ no no, that's right, you got it right, believe it."" (All of the poems in this micro-volume are dated--some even timed--furthering the sense of immediacy.) The title of the book indicates Kyger's sense of a life that is simultaneously ridiculous and dignified, i.e., instructional in the Buddhist tradition of illuminating paradoxes. In that vein, ""Some Choice"" makes a poem out of a discussion of Kyger's work in the literary journal Gare du Nord: ""With Joanne it's the fact that she has/ chosen to live in this little town/ and not be famous// and to perform her life in this highly/ spiritual but not draggy way/ this really interesting and colloquial way/ in the woods."" This and other poems that would seem like throwaways or faux na ve posturing from almost any other poet (""DID I CALL YOU?/ Was it you I called up/ Last night?"") somehow shine out beautifully within Kyger's ken. This little book is another winner in Post-Apollo's series of deliberately short takes. (July.)