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The Source Paperback – January 9, 2014
About the Author
Charles Potts is an American counter-culture poet, sometimes referred to as a projectivist. He was mentored by Edward Dorn. Raised in rural Idaho, in the mid 60s Potts set out for Seattle, Mexico, and ultimately the counter cultural hotbed of Berkeley, California. There, he founded the Litmus mag and publishing company, which published his friend Charles Bukowski's book “Poems written before jumping out of an 8 story window". Potts' gives an account of his time as a revolutionary hippie in the Berkeley poetry scene, and a psychotic breakdown he suffered there, in his two-part memoir Valga Krusa, reprinted by Green Panda Press in 2007. In the 80s Potts moved to Walla Walla, Washington where he later founded The Temple bookstore, Tsunami publishing, and The Temple Literary Magazine. Potts' collected works, letters, and publishing materials were housed in the archives of Utah State University's Merrill-Cazier Library in Logan, Utah in 2011.
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Poems like the biographical epic "Arrogance Cum Humilitas" with the lines: "I put my hound dog in her basket for the night/ Notice once again how her belly/ Is 3 degrees warmer than my hand./ She is soft love without attachments/ Affection beyond belief." punched me in the heart with their honesty and their element of surprise.
The political poems in the collection are maybe the sharpest and most deeply felt I've read of his since his Berkeley days. Lines like "Empires come and go; peasants abideth forever/ and do so with kindness / to animals and other people." carry the wit and grounded truth Charles has always written, even in his most complex and biting political verses.
Potts knows how to write a novel in a line, and a treatise on the problems of the world in a stanza. This collection contains the words of an aging man who has never been younger at heart, who loves his horses and his friends, and who can face the uncertainty of society's future with a strong word for those who would mistreat others and a smile for the void that lies ahead.
I have nothing but love for Charles and these poems.