||july 1, 2003
Marc Awodey's "NEW YORK a haibun journey" has been described as "a poetic voyage into a harrowing artistic and spiritual nether world. What Awodey evokes is the kind of pathos and desperate insight of the Consul found in Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano." It is also a stunning technical achievement- Awodey has reinvented and redefined the haibun form- his rhythm and pacing are consciously symphonic.
THE EAST RIVER
a heap of corduroy
the polished curbstones
By the time Waskow began to usher him back to Brooklyn, half of the subway stations were padlocked. Purple shadows encrusted pock marked snow beaten down
by the treadmills, and mysteries
behind every dark window of New York. They roamed the frozen East side guided by beckoning street lights and occasional cops,
as they searched for an unstretched galvanized gate that would let them retreat under the River. David thought about both of his homes-
Fran’s placid plaid careworn couch,
and the distant balloon framed house that he came from and would come back to through the deathly flurries of New England.
All of the stations of his life were unambiguous. Always pushed forward by circumstances. One step ahead of the tempest. One step away from rest. Perhaps that inevitable hunt for shelter is what enabled David to wake up almost clear headed rather than annihilated,
after crimson dawn set fire to the brick facades of Brooklyn.
He was dreaming
of playing the
A radio clicked on
in the bedroom.
for novices and aficionados
Awodey's fascinating and compelling journey through New York contains
echoes of Basho and Gary Snyder. He is no less adept than these masters at
loosely working within an ancient Japanese form to bring about a reckoning for both himself and the reader. This is a book anyone who craves resonance
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