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the ephemeral everything - Autographed Copy

the ephemeral everything - Autographed Copy   

Price: $21.95 

 A tender and true poetry collection about a man’s life, family, and surroundings.  A lifelong caver, John's book includes two caving related poems.

Cole’s autobiographical poetry collection captures the author’s life from childhood to old age.

In this book of poems written between 1985 and 2023, Cole revisits his childhood, youth, adulthood, and senior years. The poet’s journey is divided into seven non-chronological sections. In his youth, Cole recalls carefree “days of play in woods & fields” (“mrs. ramsey”) in his home state of Kentucky. He writes of his father, an abusive and alcoholic “highly imperfect patriarch” who taught Cole that “that you can destroy your life / all on your own / and die bitter and sad and abandoned” (“what my father taught me”). Relatives are at the center of “ghost story,” in which Cole evokes a grandmother, “cumbrous, phlegmatic, laconic / uneasy amazon in her faded cotton dress.” The author gingerly recounts holding his longtime partner after death: “I lifted you / light as corn silk / and carried you / to the body bag” (“reunion”).The “La Pasada” section features 11 Spanish-infused poems set in Mexico, where “riotous birdsong awakens me / just before dawn watercolors / the palm-fringed horizon” (“birds of tlacotalpan”).The final, titular poem mourns the fleeting nature of all things: “there’s your Forever / for as long as you live / and then it too / is gone.” Cole’s blank verse style makes for an easy, breezy read that novice and seasoned poetry readers alike will enjoy. Characters are fully formed and come alive in his descriptions; there’s Mrs. Ramsey, “a hobbled crone in her ragged shawl / bent upon her walking stick,”and the author’s former roommate, Jenny, “beautiful, but haunted / violent, volant / as only dandelions / in their stubborn generosity / diligently dare” (“Jenny”). At over 250 pages, the collection could have used some pruning; some readers may also have preferred a chronological ordering of the poems.

A tender and true poetry collection about a man’s life, family, and surroundings - Kirkus Review



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