|Illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins|
Pb available via indies, Amazon etc.
Hc & pb available via Phoenicia Publishing
Some more thematic things. I was often wondering, does the Fool have a self or is he just a pastiche of jester-like roles. On page 27, in an especially beautiful poem, is an image of wholeness in a face even as it’s broken by sunlight and water. This is reassuring. At the bottom of page 111 the matter is in doubt. In “The Silver Cord” an even deeper doubt arises—the specter of nothingness. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.” Which reminds me that your allusions—Shakespeare, Milton etc. are always apt. So if the book is really the King’s and not the Fool’s (P.127), a proposition not easily accepted given the space given the Fool, then the Fool’s ontological status is one of total dependency. On what? Some God-like presence, or something less? Meanwhile, eternity winks at us. On page 44 we learn that wentletrap can sing a song of endlessness and thus potentially liberate the world of the Fool from time and change. And in the wonderful “Great Work of Time” we have some assurance that our microcosmos is indeed a miniature of a greater cosmic reality. But at the End of “Fool’s Sacrifice,” in a rare moment of metapoetry, we must face the possibility that the whole book is just words and nothing more. Or an art critic might say the book is painterly, its brilliant surfaces defying a downward gaze. Thus, much is left in the balance, not to be resolved in this book or in life.
This is as far as I can go except to say that I think “Raven Castle” is a masterpiece.