11 hours ago
Friday, January 7, 2011
Burnings by Ocean Vuong
If you have never tried ordering an eBook, then you should at least try it once. My hands crave the feel of bound paper and its cover, as my eyes crave seeing the front artwork, and each page from inside. Including publishing credits of my newly publisher friend, all the way through; like bending corner pages, to flipping the last blank page before you set it down. I am compelled however to be somewhat green, and try to do my part.
Therefore your fingertips can still push the keyboard arrows as you savour each electronic page touch in Adobe Acrobat. I know some of my friends have gotten Kindle and the other new paper free book electronics, and they are happy. But looking at your collection of chapbooks on the shelf makes you so nostalgic. Right? Decided- both can have their appeal.
Okay on to MY new eBook. I was shopping around and had put some books in my on-line cart for a few months, and was anticipating my Amazon.com gift certificate. I love these kinds of Christmas presents. However Burnings, one of the newest Sibling Rivalry Press publications was not to be found. I headed over to SRP's website and found myself staring at three options to buy the book- 'Buy Digital File' caught my attention. Well you know the rest.
Taking my time reading each poem over the past few days, I began to think about some of them while driving to the gym- like Bono, who crones us with swagger lucidly across open air on songs; Ocean drifts us motionless and with caution over memory lands. He slips us into water as if we are helping keep the boat afloat, and plants serious kisses on our cheeks with his poetry.
I am also proud to be living in a time when sexual discovery can be spoken aloud on a page like he does in his second section of his book. Having friends since childhood, especially in the south, who felt sharing their sexual preference was too dangerous- now can openly express themselves without great fear, and Ocean does it well.
An old friend of mine from cosmetology school in Texas, Jessie who came across the water on a small refugee boat back in the late 70's comes to mind. Lost memory, this opens up my mind to his stories, I realize I miss our time together. I am drawn in, and want more.
I shall never be able to totally feel Ocean Vuong's pain or experience the holes that lie in his heart, but knowing he is willing to share the experiences through memory and verse with us will suffice my desire to know the human condition. My pain in life is most certainly different than his, or yours, but we all hurt. We all long. We all bleed. Somewhere along the road, we may even cross a big body of water to begin, discover a new life.
This book is highly recommended to all. I look forward to reading more of Ocean Vuong's work!
Ocean I hope I do your work justice, and Bryan Borland, kudos to you for recognizing such great talent- but it does take one to know one right?