Interviewer vs. Interviewer

Interviewer vs. Interviewer
( Click on picture to view) Elizabeth Lund--Host of Poetic Lines interviews Host of Poet to Poet-- Doug Holder

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My guest Dec. 5 5PM will be Richard Wollman:

Evidence of Things Seen. Richard Wollman. ( The Sheep Meadow Press POBOX 1345 Riverdale-on-Hudson NY 10471)

Simmons College literature professor Richard Wollman in his new poetry collection: “Evidence Of Things Seen” writes of shucking clams, of Lester Young in a ruminating Paris, of a church that reflects the images of subverted and converted Jews, and he does it with elegiac and evocative language. In his poem “Pressure” Wollman describes his inept attempts to shuck clams. Here is a portrait of a poet who is just as shucked as his crustacean charges:

“but there was no remedy for dull knife slips in the flesh of my hand beneath the thumb where I’d slice myself open like an unprotected clam.I t was ruining my hands.The boss knew I didn’t have to do this for my living and waited for me to quit, baited me, making me stand on the bar to clean the grease…No one ever poured a drink until I dragged myself back there, the only one who could no longer smell the liquor of the fish all over us.”

I have always been a fan of the “ Pres” and “Lady Day,”. In “Lester Young in Paris” we have a portrait of the “Pres” (Young), the famous jazz saxophonist, as deadens his pain, and his ghosts with booze and his art. In some respects the poem reads like a haunting, late night jazz composition:

“In the studio he wore felt slippers. It was a way to live,deaden the noise of fists,the reedy wheeze of his breath stolen one night in a white barracks. And the squawk of hospital doors up north. In curved brass, pain takes the shape of song, the sense variously drawn out. What can be made of the low sounds of men? He drank deep until he finally drowned them.”