Today's book of poetry: Ink on Paper. Brad Cran. Nightwood Editions. Gibsons, British Columbia. 2013.
Brad Cran, who served at Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver from 2009 to 2011, gets my vote to be the Poet Laureate for Canada.
Ink on Paper, Cran's second book of poetry kicks the crap out of any second book suspicion. It is a tiny book that reads like a massive tome. It is chocked full of wisdom and gravitas and instructions for civilized living.
from Fun-loving Nickleback Policy Machine (With Kittens)
After all, Ignatieff was right when he said that in politics
people are only interested in what you have said
and have little interest in what you mean.
Cran doesn't hesitate to speak politics or polemics, it would seem he has an articulate opinion on everything.
from The Avian Flu
I do like plenty of quiet time but I don't care too much
for being alone. I suppose we are built to adapt,
to find ways to accept what we don't want to accept;
to look for comfort in small things, if need be.
A mariachi trumpet on your daughter's first birthday,
the friends who arrive with gifts and guacamole
and later sit down to tell you the story of a woman
who lives alone, rehabilitates birds and has invented
a machine to emulate the human embrace.
There are elements of Cran that remind me of the crazy antics of poetic imagination displayed by John Robert Colombo, perhaps if he were co-authoring with Douglas Copeland. Cran never slows down for the reader to catch up and at times these poems almost overwhelm with candid strength.
That doesn't happen. Brad Cran is in control of his craft, these poems don't spill off the page -- they gush, flow, torrent -- into the reader's mind, not intruding but entertaining, educating. This is strong stuff indeed.