Friday, September 26, 2014

Minutiae - Nelson Ball (Apt. 9 Press)

Today's book of poetry:
Minutiae.  Nelson Ball.  Apt. 9 Press.  Ottawa, Ontario.  2014.

Back in April of 2013 Today's book of poetry looked at Nelson Ball's In This Thin Rain (Mansfield Press, 2012), and we loved it.  Today we look at Minutiae, Nelson Ball's latest from Apt. 9 Press.

Nothing has changed.

Ball still has more to say with less.  These precise and polished little gems radiate good will and an understanding beyond pretense.

Little Things (Mean A Lot)
To Mary Neff, in memory of Nelson Neff

In the pocket
of his favourite golf jacket

three candy wrappers
and a shopping list:

coffee cream


shaving cream

ice cream--



I doubt very much if Nelson Ball realizes the very high esteem he is held in by other poets.  I've never had the pleasure of meeting Ball, but I'd sure like shake his hand.

I also doubt that Ball would like the comparisons to Richard Brautigan or e.e. cummings but I see them both at work.

Perhaps they are my fanciful projection, but they are two of my heroes.  I am lazy - so I measure against the greats.

To Barbara in absentia

you talked a lot

you are gone


to me

but not
nearly enough


This lament to his departed love echoes and haunts.  Nelson Ball is one of Today's book of poetry's favourites.  This is poetry of unadorned beauty, humour and tenderness.

A Rattle Of Spring Frogs

they are close

they sound
like a two stroke engine in the distance -

a motorcycle, or
a chainsaw -

but no
it's frogs

the rattle
of frogs


Apt. 9 Press continues to impress with their beautiful handmade books.  Minutiae was published in a limited run of 100.  Hard to imagine they won't be pressed into a second run.

Almost perfect.

Nelson Ball

Nelson Ball is a poet and bookseller living in Paris, Ontario. He operated the small press Weed/Flower Press from 1965-1974. Ball is the author of numerous books and chapbooks and the editor of Frank Harrington's Kristmiss Book and two editions of bpNichol's Konfessions of an Elizabethan Fan Dancer.


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