Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Poetry

My friend Ellen Cooney writes poems I like. Today I received in the mail a copy of her latest book, Mother of the Silkless: Invocations to Goddesses and Gods.

From the post office where I picked up the book, I went to my local Peet's for a cappuccino and a gander at the "Irish sporting green" in the SF Chronicle. Lo, I learned of the deaths of two whom I'd known in life. One was the very first architect I ever worked for -- in a previous life, I worked for architects -- Corwin Booth, 93. The other was an acquaintance from the local Irish and literary scene, Bob Callahan, former publisher of Callahan's Irish Quarterly and one of the founders of the Before Columbus Foundation. If I weren't going out of town this weekend on a long-planned trip, I'd go to his memorial this coming Sunday.

Later, at home, I opened Ellen's new book first to this poem:


You walk through the hospitals
gathering gathering
or You find us helter skelter
at the crossroads under cars
in icy parks
off bridges after a cruel word
You are the last clean white sheets
tireless at our bedsides
You hold us and heal us
carrying us through
from age to youth again
half Your face human
the other half blank
You are the Death Eater
ceaselessly devouring
human pain

There is no evidence of this book on the Internet. Ellen, although she's wheelchair-bound, does not use a computer. I'm so enamored of electronic communication that I'm puzzled when someone whose social opportunities are more limited than mine chooses not to enter cyberspace. Social or not, Ellen has her Muse. Mother of the Silkless, like Ellen's other books, is beautifully designed by her brother Robert Cooney, and printed on fine paper. Mother of the Silkless, ISBN 978-0-9602912-4-3, $15 from Duir Press, 795 Eighth Avenue, #201, San Francisco, CA 94118.