Some words of full disclosure: Mike James, the author of the poetry collection Nothing But Love (available from Pathwise Press, or by order from Amazon.com) is not just a colleague, but a friend and the publisher of my own chapbook.
Despite this evidence of possible prejudice, I hope you will believe (and follow) my strong recommendation of this volume. Mike's spare, rather koanoid style is moving, thoughtful, and capable of great depth. His drama is found in the everyday, but the sensibility is not commonplace.
James's approach is almost always reflection on projection. Wry humor occasionally makes an appearance.
i like the way
as if to say
from "Fairy Tales, Fears and the Gymnastics of Love"
the dark does not scare me
and snakes have never
even one of my dreams
but frogs - even the tiny tree frog -
make me sweat
worse than long distance running
also, I don't like flight attendants
i am not afraid of them
but I don't like them and that
has not been said enough
Reading Mike James's work (this is a poet's measure of quality) always cranks the starter on my own poetry engine, as it did again this time. I had to stop twice on my walk home, after finishing, to jot down poems that had just come to me.
On the subject of poetry, a related note. I attended a City of Asylum poetry reading at Seton Hill U on Thursday, and one of the poems pleased me enough to send me looking for it. The poet, from India, is Meena Kandasamy, and I can tentatively recommend her book, Touch, on the basis of the sample that I heard. Alas, since it's published in India, I don't yet know how to buy it. Meanwhile, though, here's a link to "Mulligatawny dreams" online.
CBsI(very slow)P: student manuscripts
college textbooks (for classes I'm teaching)
Year's Best SF 11, David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds.
McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Joseph Mitchell
Iron Council, China Miéville
The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa, Burgoyne & Marckwardt (& Swinton)