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Lovely, Raspberry: Poems Paperback – June 15, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Not every reader will take to a poem that begins, "You bore me. So be it./ I bore you and enjoy doing it." Then there's the line, "I have been thinking about the love-hat relationship," which may provoke a few Bronx cheers. Still, there is room in this twittering world for some oddly resonant deadpan absurdity, especially when it's concise and readable, as are most of the poems in Belz's second collection (after The Bird Hoverer): "I sat with my head sort of hanging—in the tiled atrium./ I sat in the tiled atrium—with my head sort of hanging." Though he evokes the hip coastal schools, Belz is essentially Midwestern and excels at transforming folksiness into dissonance. And he is best when he goes beyond silly, as in "Worms," a shrewd depiction of the human mind couched as a treatise on alternate modes of transportation: "Cyclists, as a rule, think bikers are cheating,/ because they have engines. Pedestrians, in turn,/ think cyclists are cheating... People in wheelchairs think pedestrians/ have a leg up, for obvious reasons...." VERDICT You'll want to put this book down, but you probably won't. Recommended.—Ellen Kaufman, Baruch Coll., New York
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From the Back Cover

"Aaron Belz's poetry reminds us that poetry should be bright, friendly, surprising, and totally committed to everything but itself. Reading him is like dreaming of a summer vacation and then taking it." --John Ashbery 
 
"Belz is one of the brave few whose ears are attuned to the comic amid the contemporary. He writes in the tradition of Richard Brautigan, never afraid to let the awkward intensity of address and visual snap of juxtaposition hijack the poem's more solemn duties. Reading Belz is like watching an intimate comic performance; it's stand-up poetry meant for you alone." --Chris Martin
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Persea; First Edition edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892553596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892553594
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,763,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is an uneasiness about comedic poetry, that it is neither poetry nor comedy; that their aims are too different to be bred together, a bastardization of pigs and petunias, but nothing could be further from the truth. Poetry, like comedy, makes the world strange again; it breaks through the quotidian whitewashing, making us alive to smack talking worms and the fun of saying the word "banana". Poetry, like comedy, is about misdirection; the getting you to look one way, then surprising you from behind.

Few poets understand the serious business of sacred hilarity better than Aaron Belz. There is a wryness running through the entire book, from the title to the authorial photo (its preening stoicism in knowingly bathetic grandiosity). The first poem is titled "Direction" but in its pseudo-mathematical tri-irregularity it confounds any rational solution. It begins:

You expect me to tell you about the interior of the room
in which I'm typing this, and connect that to my feelings,
but I'd rather tell you about the interior of your room
and use that as a symbol for something less abstract.

But this is nixed in the very next line with: "Actually, here's a better idea." and ends with the speaker as a dime store manager and the reader as a movie director.

This comedic misdirection makes for a lot of missed jokes if you're looking for a certain type of poetry. Perhaps the worse fate is the one who must endure the dreariness of explaining the jokes to others. But do not mistake me, dear reader, this is no pony of one trick. If you cannot find what you are looking for in "Lovely, Raspberry" then you aren't looking hard enough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Lovely, Raspberry" is a book without precedent. Except for "The Bird-Hoverer", Aaron Belz' other collection. Other precedents may include Dada, the Beats, Protestant Hymns, neon green windbreakers, Costello sans Abbott, Johns both Donne and Ashbery, and so on. It's a book with some precedents.

Belz commands language like a comedian, and makes it surprising and delightful. Like comedians he makes language strange. Unlike comedians, he also makes language beautiful. He climbs into folds of ambiguity and sets up a house and garden there, between green hills of meaning.

Another reviewer has mentioned that the cover is beautiful. That is true. Everything else that reviewer said is wrong. He said that the book is frivolous. I think what he meant is that it is light. Or if he had read the book for the purpose of delight, that's what he would have meant.

If you like to be delighted, why would you not purchase this book?
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Format: Paperback
You can be philosophical without ruining someone's day. "Lovely, Raspberry" is a collection of poetry from Aaron Beltz, designed to be light in nature with a powerful message lying beneath. "Lovely, Raspberry" is a fine set of poetry, and a solid addition to any collection. "Smocks": "Bella et her smock, what had paint on it,"/grumbled Ferocio. He had been/omitting cadavers all night//Trial by Ferocio, epoxy nightmare (feminism).
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