Paper Boats: Tradition or legend has it that Li Bai folded some of his poems into paper boats and sent them floating down a river to the wider world, much as peach blossoms on entering a stream drift far from their source.
These ephemeral, transient paper boats are being set free. Like the Chinese and Japanese poets, they will wander. They will let the water course take them randomly through the landscape to explore, meditate and contemplate the moment.
This collection is the culmination of daily practice in capturing small evanescent moments over the past five years of the poet’s meditations. In the lines of verse you will find shades of Paul Nelson, Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Rexroth, Tu Fu, Li Bai, Robert Hass, Basho, Buson, Issa, Fiona Robyn, Allen Watts, Patrick Lane, Lao Tsu, and Deng Ming-Dao.
Caught in the Throat, David Fraser’s fourth collection of poetry courageously reveals versions of his truth. You will find passionate narratives that are both evocative and entertaining. The poet is spitting out stories that have shaped him as an individual and as a writer. The truth is lodged in the throat and there is a necessity to choke it out. David Fraser is witness, and a quiet observer who is sometimes close up and at other times distant. Caught in the Throat is a testament to a remarkable poet’s continuing and amazing growth. Here is an exploration of possibilities, a juggling of the truth, “a constant motion without an end”.
April 2016 978-1-926655-93-2 | 5.5 by 8.5 inches | 68 pp | $16.95 After All the Scissor Work Is Done by David Fraser
These poems play with memory, finds out what's left on the cutting-room floor. David Fraser steers away from linear narrative, edits out connections, allows the reader room. But these are not pretty pieces: the poems scrape at the dark of human experience.
"The sepia of nostalgia creeps like a mist over these poems, yet the sharpness of his memories, imagined or otherwise, keeps the reader from lulling into complacency by asking that we confront, time and time again, our own human frailties and our own mortality. A brave book." (Naomi Beth Wakan, Inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo, B.C.)
No Way Easy, David Fraser’s third collection of poetry, is raw and candid in its responsive reflection on the universal journey toward awareness. He begins with observations from a state of shock produced by the entrance into the unconsciousness of the world. From there he moves through the chaos and trauma of growing up and delves into memory and epiphany in a life of ordinary circumstance seen through extraordinary eyes. This is a journey we all must take, surviving the shock of childhood and adolescence and becoming our own unique selves, free of the pain and suffering of the past. These poems are narratives that will strike a chord and evoke in the reader, his or her own different but similar stories.
“A small dance shuffling in the hay the way our tortured ankles glide when in our hearts we hide the pain for one more waltz again in straw.”
“Let us read and let us dance—two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.” Voltaire’s words seem appropriate to introduce this little book. David Fraser and Pat Smekal have written poetry which “dances” within its covers, in the sense that each poem pairs with one written by the other—either as a response to it, or as an inspiration from it. For the reader’s convenience the poems are presented as they were written, facing each other as partners in a dance. Here, with poetry, Pat and David step up to both natural and human worlds, and respond to many moods and tempos offered in childhood, youth, and later life. You are invited to read, and enjoy the dance.
On Poetry: The sheer volume of contradiction, whimsy, apprehension, pithiness, and diversity contained in this wonderful collection of words about poetry, by poets, proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that those of us who call ourselves poets frequently have no idea what we’re doing, or why we do it. All we know is that it must be done. Perhaps Carl Sandburg said it best: ‘I’ve written some poetry I don’t understand myself.’ "
“This little book is a kaleidoscope of ways of seeing, being, reflecting, deflecting, confessing, professing, processing, revealing the mystery at the heart of things. Open anywhere to lift the spirits.”
Patricia Ludwick, writer, editor, and addicted reader