DREW DELLINGER – MOVE METTER TO THE MILKY WAY, A BOOK OF
POEMS – WHITE CLOUD PRESS, ASHLAND,
The language is simple, the tempo
is fluent, the music is cool and soft. This is liquid poetry that seeps down
into our minds as if it were the language of some angelic disincarnated lover
with whom anyone can have an adventure, a venture or even an affair because
this angel is beyond any sexual orientation. And yet that poetry has some
The poet’s objective is to make
love to (the poet’s male side) or with (the poet’s female side) the Milky Way
and the Moon. The Sun is a bIg fiery father figure that looks at you, little
human non-entity, having intercourse with the Moon, the triple goddess,
Demeter, the thrice-crowned goddess (in Shakespeare’s words), Artémis or Diana
the goddess of life and life-giving, Selene the goddess of the moon and the
night, Hecate the goddess queen of the underworld, hell, the Queen-dom of the
dead. I must admit it could be a very powerful love scene but you, little human
being, you would be the toy of these three women, and they might even break you
or tear you apart and you way end up in pretty bad shape. But apparently the
poet accepts that fate as if it were whey.
The small human being who says I,
me, myself and I, in the poems, at times disguised under a conventional you, is
maybe a man but he wants to let the whole cosmos flow into him. He is the
receiving vessel, the basin or even the tub into which the whole universe can
run and then overflow. As such he is somewhere a woman having an affair with
the moon repeatedly said to be a woman, a triple woman, and systematically
associated with death. The poet is a morbid and death-fascinated feminine male.
And that cult of the moon and the night in these poems is definitely death
oriented though the sexual orientation of it is at least imprecise.
The next surprise is the strange
call for the oldest ancestors and the great great grandchildren of the I who
speaks, and his desire to create or cultivate perfect and absolute continuity
from the most distant past to the most distant future. This is impossible since
everything is ever changing, as the poet should know since he quotes the
Buddha. But he does not seem to dominate or control the basic concepts of it.
The next surprise is the call
against corporations in a poetry that is NOT agit(ation)-prop(aganda). The call
against the military-industrial-petroleum complex is made weak by the style and
the tone that are not Brechtian, or anything close to HOWL by Allan Ginsberg. A
weak squeaking mouse has little impact under the crushing paw of an elephant.
What’s more it is in complete contradiction with the reference to Krishna
, Buddha, the Eightfold Path of Enlightenment,
etc… This is here a call to some power-game against the powerful politicians
and industrialists, but the references are discarding this power game, are
calling for a mental regeneration and I do not find it in this call here in
Then the call for a change is
warped by the fact it attacks the Supreme Court in the supremely hypocritical
Gore un-election case, or the hypocritical lies of warmonger Bush, a bush that
is not burning by itself but that is burning everyone that is not standing at
attention or crawling in the dust, though without such forceful images. It is
meek. His change needs a power struggle and it cannot be peaceful, serene and
easy-going if it is not seen as having to occur first in our own individual
This comes from the lack of a
deeper penetration of the mental intellectual and spiritual dimension of man.
The reference to Buddha is touristic, like that to Jesus or Gandhi. The modern
world of the Internet enables anyone to refer to anything without any deeper
knowledge and experience of whet they are talking of and about.
Man – and here the poet – becomes
a sign post on the Milky Way. But have you ever seen a sign post following the
way it indicates, be it a Milky Way or any other Gold Way of the yellow brick road?
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU