Friday, September 26, 2014

Minutiae - Nelson Ball (Apt. 9 Press)

Today's book of poetry:
Minutiae.  Nelson Ball.  Apt. 9 Press.  Ottawa, Ontario.  2014.


Back in April of 2013 Today's book of poetry looked at Nelson Ball's In This Thin Rain (Mansfield Press, 2012), and we loved it.  Today we look at Minutiae, Nelson Ball's latest from Apt. 9 Press.

Nothing has changed.

Ball still has more to say with less.  These precise and polished little gems radiate good will and an understanding beyond pretense.

Little Things (Mean A Lot)
To Mary Neff, in memory of Nelson Neff

In the pocket
of his favourite golf jacket

three candy wrappers
and a shopping list:

coffee
coffee cream

lettuce
hamburger

bread
shaving cream

ice cream--

his
minutiae

...

I doubt very much if Nelson Ball realizes the very high esteem he is held in by other poets.  I've never had the pleasure of meeting Ball, but I'd sure like shake his hand.

I also doubt that Ball would like the comparisons to Richard Brautigan or e.e. cummings but I see them both at work.

Perhaps they are my fanciful projection, but they are two of my heroes.  I am lazy - so I measure against the greats.

Talk
To Barbara in absentia

Barbara
you talked a lot

now
you are gone

you
continue

speaking
to me

but not
nearly enough

...

This lament to his departed love echoes and haunts.  Nelson Ball is one of Today's book of poetry's favourites.  This is poetry of unadorned beauty, humour and tenderness.

A Rattle Of Spring Frogs

When
they are close

they sound
like a two stroke engine in the distance -

a motorcycle, or
a chainsaw -

but no
it's frogs

the rattle
of frogs

...

Apt. 9 Press continues to impress with their beautiful handmade books.  Minutiae was published in a limited run of 100.  Hard to imagine they won't be pressed into a second run.

Almost perfect.

Nelson Ball

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nelson Ball is a poet and bookseller living in Paris, Ontario. He operated the small press Weed/Flower Press from 1965-1974. Ball is the author of numerous books and chapbooks and the editor of Frank Harrington's Kristmiss Book and two editions of bpNichol's Konfessions of an Elizabethan Fan Dancer.


250