Past All Traps by Don Wentworth / a word pond review


Past All Traps  by Don Wentworth, a chapbook of poems and his long-awaited first, gets through most traps we set for ourselves. It reads scroll-like without beginning, middle or end: inbreath, outbreath rhythm, wave, dunk, stroke, kick, jump, startle, pause. In the Introduction, Carl Mayfield writes, “Wentworth embraces what he finds in this split second we call living, in the moment that is sometimes like a knot on a string — you feel the bump but the string goes on.” An epigraph by Amy Ergler picks it up:

jesus christ, wentworth,
your lame goddamn poetry
annoys me like fuck.

These are sometimes aphoristic, back and forth messages in a bottle, call and response poems between this world and the next, clear as a muddy bell; of our multifarious, even changeling American culture, split at the seams, and of  this earthly sphere wobbling in the void. The poet’s voice  graveled with some serious misgivings like those who lived through New Orleans and The Great Japan Earthquake of 2011, still sings for its supper, as fine a song as the hototogisu, as tender a warble as that Baltimore oriole down in Louisianna. He laughs us out of our ego rubble into being one with an immeasurable joy that Joseph Campbell knew in a voice that sounds with the ancient and the postmodern. So many fine ones to share. Hold open your hands.

my little legs waving
in the air, my little legs –
& all your little legs, too.


November cherry blossom –
what was I thinking?


Stop counting syllables,
start counting the dead.



Not one pigeon on the wrong side of the roof.



More must be taken away, less said –
the blue morning glory
before dawn.


the barber’s floor is covered
with spring.


Donna Fleischer
for word pond 

Past All Traps may be purchased online at Issa’s Untidy Hut.

  1. Donna!

    To have one’s voice compared to the lovely cuckoo (hototogisu) – I am bowing very deeply in your direction.

    A most sincere thanks.


  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: