Dec 11, 2017 - 04:50 PM  
ChicagoPoetry.com  
  Welcome to Chicago Poetry Press
CJ Laity is Mr. Chicago Poetry

Poetry Press

Go to the homepage with calendar
The Chicago Poetry News
Journal of Modern Poetry

Chicago Poetry Scene Top 135

· A Cram On WBEZ
· After Hours Press
· Anobium
· Another Chicago Magazine
· Antena
· Anti-War Poetry
· Apparatus Magazine
· AquaMoon
· Audio Party
· Barbara's Bookstore
· Beach Poets
· Big Other
· Bob Boone's Teacher's Hangout
· Book Cellar
· Book Slut
· Book Stall
· Caffeine Theatre
· Center on Halsted
· Chaotic Radio
· Chicago Amplified
· Chicago Calling
· Chicago Literary Club
· Chicago Poetry Brothel
· Chicago Poetry Club
· Chicago Poetry Project
· Chicago Poetry Neutral Zone
· Chicago Public Library
· ChicagoPublishes (City of Chicago)
· Chicago Reader
· Chicago Readers Blog
· Chicago Shakes
· Chicago Slam Works
· Chicago Writes
· College of Complexes
· Columbia College
· Columbia College Events
· Columbia Poetry Review
· Cracked Slab Books
· CRWROPPS
· Curbside Splendor
· Danny's
· Dollar Store
· Drinking and Writing
· 826 Chicago
· Encyclopedia Show
· e-poets.net
· Featherproof
· Gapers Block Book Club
· Girl Speak
· Golden Rule Jones
· Green Mill
· Guild Complex
· Gwendolyn Brooks Center
· Homolatte
· Illinois Arts Council
· Illinois Poet Laureate
· Illinois Poets Society
· In One Ear at Heartland Cafe
· JackLeg Press
· KuumbaLynx
· La Bloga
· Lake Forest College
· Lethal Poetry
· Letter eX
· Literago
· Literary Chicago
· Louder Than A Bomb
· Loyola
· LVNG
· Mango Tribe
· March/Abrazo
· Mental Graffiti
· Milk Magazine
· Muzzle
· Myopic Books
· Neighborhood Writing Alliance
· Neutron Bomb
· Newberry Library
· Next Objectivists
· Northwestern
· Northwestern Press
· NNWAC
· Oyez Review
· Paper Machete
· Parlor Reading Series
· Partner Dance Press
· PerformInk
· Poetry Center of Chicago
· Poetry Foundation
· Poetry Magazine
· PoetryPoetry
· Poets and Patrons
· Powells
· POW-WOW
· Printers Ball
· Printers Row Lit Fest
· Proyecto Latina
· Puddin'head Press
· Publish Chicago
· Quickies!
· Quimby's
· Ragdale
· Rambunctious Review
· Reading Under The Influence
· Real Talk Ave
· Rec Room
· Revolving Door
· Red Rover
· Rhino
· 2nd Story
· Series A
· Seven Corners
· Shakespeares Monkeys
· She Writes
· Silver Tongue
· Slampapi Blog
· Small Garlic Press
· Spoon River Review
· StarWallpaper
· Sunday Salon
· Sun Times Books
· Swan Isle Press
· Switchback Books
· Tallgrass Writers / Outrider Press
· The2ndHand
· Third World Press
· Tianguis Bookstore
· TimeOut Books
· TriQuarterly
· Tuesday Funk
· Twilight Tales
· U of C Poetics
· U of C Press
· U of I Press
· Underground Library
· Unscene Chicago
· Vaporacle
· Virtual Artists Collective
· Vocalo.org
· Weeds
· Weighed Words
· Woman Made Gallery
· Woman Made Gallery Audio
· Women and Children First
· Young Chicago Authors

Right Now . . .

There are 19 unregistered users and 0 registered users on-line.

You can log-in or register for a user account here.


spacer.gif
spacer.gif   SUSPECT TWO: MICHAEL H. BROWNSTEIN
Posted by : cj on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 10:56 AM
  spacer.gif
 
Chicago Poetry Reviews: Click Headlines .
THE USUAL SUSPECTS


A Period of Trees
A Chapbook by Michael H. Brownstein
Snark Publishing
Reviewed by C. J. Laity


Michael Brownstein's book, A Period of Trees, is edited the way a fine gem is cut. I get the impression that Brownstein worked and reworked this collection over a great period of time, and then that someone else put in a great deal of effort making this book not merely a collection of Brownstein's work, but a well thought out piece of art. The poems are tight. The order of the poems has purpose. The result is a clarity of intention that moves the soul.

These death and nature poems are shrouded in mystery. Though I get the sense that the accumulation of the poems are telling a story, I'm not quite sure I know what the story is, I'm not sure we are suppose to know. There is no narrative to guide the reader through it. Instead, the reader absorbs a series of metaphors that are hauntingly abstract:

This is the view from the train's window
at once salt stained, sun scarred.


(from "A Fire in the Study")

Brownstein does not blink at the deadly images that thicken these poems, like dirt turning water into mud. These images do not come across as urgent, but, instead, they are disturbingly presented as matters of fact, as unmerciful as the changing of a season:

All winter long I read about children
falling through cracks in the ice
surviving quarter hours underwater


(from "Time")

or

Suddenly he is thirteen years old
pedaling across the street after looking both ways.
too quickly there is a squeal of brakes.


(from "Autobiography")

or even

My brother took one tumble
from a tree frail with the cough of winter
sap stilled in hardened soil,
icicles not yet turned water.
The ground held no forgiveness.


(from "Brother")

The sense I get, from the dull, toothache-like emotion inspired by this book, is one of deja vu. What is presented before my mind's eye seem to be the most significant moments of life, though, Brownstein doesn't offer a clue as to why. Nature is personified. It whispers the profound in a language only the subconscious can understand. The images, especially those of the Autumn entering into Winter, speak of greater things. The imagery speaks of personal loss and change, not only in the immediate family, but throughout the history of America, as well as throughout the history of the Jewish people. It's as if the link to the deja vu feeling is an ancestor who has stood in the same spot, witnessing the exact same sunset or a very similar leaf falling. And, of course, those ancestors are the trees themselves, because nothing else on earth has lived that long.

Decaying brush and limb. All I ever
Wanted was a place of beauty to share.
It has never happened. I alone watch


(from "Field Tripping")

The beautiful but cruel nature passes by the eye of the reader as if the reader is on a train with Brownstein, looking at the history of the world through the steamy window.

And how in the end, as the sun rises like a fiery maple leaf in the
dreary east to a blossom of blue sky


(from "Because Death Controls the Hall Pass")

or

Night dense over grassland until
An orange pearl pasted with braces
Rises low over brush, over groves of red cedar,


(from "Harvest, Central Illinois, October")

A Period of Trees is a remarkable vision with as many layers to it as a tree trunk has rings. It is to be read alone, under a dim light or by a fireplace, when you have the luxury of allowing yourself a tear or two.

--C. J. Laity

A Period of Trees can be purchased by sending $5 to Snark Publishing, 637 W. Hwy 50 #119, O'Fallon, IL 62269.

Back to the investigation.

**We hope you found the information on this page useful. ChicagoPoetry.com needs your help. We are holding a fundraising drive in order to stay online. There are two ways that you can help:
Click here to offer a financial gift or click here to order the new book by ChicagoPoetry.com Press.



Note: Michael Brownstein's book, A Period of Trees, is edited the way a fine gem is cut.

 
spacer.gif
spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  Poetry Contest
· Enter Our Contest
  spacer.gif
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  Bookstore
Order a book
The Ultimate Chicago Poetry Anthology
JOMP
Clever Gretel by Jennifer Dotson
JOMP 15 Is Here
Postcards from Poland by Joseph Kuhn Carey
Journal of Modern Poetry 16
Vape Mania
Jomp 17
  spacer.gif
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  JOMP
· Buy JOMP 18
· Buy JOMP 19
· Buy JOMP 20
  spacer.gif
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  Poetry Publishing
Chicago Poetry Press publishes the highest quality poetry in beautiful, perfect bound editions. We rely on your continued support to operate, because we are not funded by any corporation, foundation, government agency or university. You can always contact
CJ Laity at Publisher@ ChicagoPoetry.com.
  spacer.gif
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  eX-ceptional 150
· Acme Artworks
· Alarm
· American Perspectives
· Answer Tag Home Press
· Area Chicago
· Avant Chicago
· Bailliwik
· Beard of Bees
· Black Arts
· Blossom Bones
· Bohemian Pupil
· Borders Open Door Poetry
· Born Magazine
· Bucktown Arts Fest
· Chance Operations
· Chicago Artists Coalition
· Chicago Cultural Center
· Chicago Dramatists
· Chicago Innerview
· Chicagoist
· Chi Labor Arts Fest Blog
· Chicago Magazine
· ChicagoPoets.net
· Chicago Quarterly
· Chicago Review
· Chicago6Corners
· Chi Town Daily News
· CHIRP
· Christian Poets Society
· cinematheque
· CLTV
· Common Review
· Conscious Choice
· Contra Tiempo
· Conundrum
· Court Green
· Crab Orchard
· Cross Roads
· Curious Theatre
· Elastic Arts
· Elder Stories
· EM Press
· Empty Bottle
· F News Magazine
· Fast Geek Press
· Fence
· Fifth Wednesday
· Free Lunch
· Free Street
· Front 40
· Gapers Block
· Gargoyle
· Haiku Society
· Haymarket
· Heartland Cafe
· Hemmingway Foundation
· Highland Park Poetry
· Hotel Amerika
· Hour Glass
· Hull House
· Humanities Fest
· Hyde Park Art
· Improv Olympics
· Intersections
· In These Times
· The Ivory Tower
· JAB
· Kalamu
· Karamu
· Kedzie Press / The Green Parent
· Lake Claremont
· Lawyers For Arts
· Lisle Library
· Literary Chicago
· Literary Pizazz Radio
· Lit Line
· Links Hall
· Looptopia
· Love Chicago
· Lumpen
· Machine
· Make Magazine
· Manual of Style
· Mayapple Press
· Mayor's Office of Events
· MetroMix
· Mexican Fine Arts
· MCA
· Midland Authors
· Midwest Literary Fest
· Midwest Zines
· Milk Weed
· Millions
· Moria
· Mule
· Muse Letter
· Naperville Writers
· National Writers Union
· Nelson Algren Committee
· Neofuturists
· Nextbook
· Ninth Letter
· Old Town Folk School
· Open Book
· Osbey Books
· O Sweet Flowery Roses
· Other Voices
· Otium
· Palatine Slam
· Paper and Carriage
· Paper Mustache
· Perpetual Motion
· Plainfield Poetry
· PM Poetry
· Poem Present
· Poetic License
· Poetry Cache
· Poetry Daily
· Poetry Radio
· Poets and Writers
· Poets Kitchen
· Polvo
· Polyphony
· Pudding House
· Punk Planet
· Reconstruction Room
· Redmoon
· Roctober
· Rose Metal
· Room 315
· Rubba Ducky
· Sawbuck
· Scars Publishing
· Screwball
· Second Run
· Seminary Co-op
· Seventen Bishop
· Shark Forum
· Shelter
· Shortpants
· Skeleton News
· Small Happy
· Stop Smiling
· SOBS
· Sourcebooks
· Spareroom
· Spondee
· Stone Jones
· Story Studio
· Story Quarterly
· Street Level
· Teatro Luna
· This Is Grand
· Ticket2Write
· Time Out
· Uncommon Ground
· Unlikely Stories
· UR Chicago
· Venus
· Visions For Chicago
· Wordsfest
· Writers Workspace
· WBEZ
· WFMT
· WLUW
· WNUR
· WQNA
· You Are Beautiful
  spacer.gif
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer


Web hosting provided by TechFinesse