Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rough Travel by Jeffrey S. Callico

Beyond the mundane lies the secret prompts of an eternity. They allures us as little agent provocateurs in soft, almost silent voices to tear us away from what is every day, routine and filled with murky humdrums.

Call of an eternity or the gloom of the daily life, to say which of this is more obscure, is undoubtedly the enigma that mankind desired to solve forever in human history. Poetry is one of those forms that run foremost in attempting to solve this puzzle.

But there is a catch here. Infinity is often found in a battling position with the daily. Moments fight against non-moments, what is eternal goes up in arms against the immediate. Love is palpably an obscure emotion we normally associate with eternity. In love we long to associate. Hatred is recognizably momentous. In hatred we strive to dissociate.

What better place can there be to experience this inherent violence of this two way journey that fumes, blasts, disintegrates in a fury but then again echoes with the sweetest sounds of longings, than what we call ‘home’.

Jeffrey S. Calico, in his recent collection of poems, Rough Travel, touched upon this theme of domestic alienation and pathos in all its subtle nuances but with a certain disenchantment that only a bio-lab’s scalpel has for a corpse on the table.

In one of the most beautiful short piece in this collection, he says,


The talk we had

The other day was

Not worth our breath

You keep to yourself

I keep myself to you

Jeffrey, I believe, has that rare talent of speaking a sea even when he is only talking about a dew drop.

And to slightly add on to that I would say the poet in Jeff can truly work miracles with the most ordinary objects and behavior found in any household as such. In his poems they break away from their known relations and fondles into other unknown ones.


The sound I make
Rising wakes the

Kid then the house
Is in its fullness

There is no escape
From the television

The cathode nipple
Still needs sucking.

Use of cathode next to nipple opens up a port that spills drudgery, boredom and something violently erotic at the same time.

Thanks to Graffiti-Kolkata for bringing in such a beautiful collection to us.

Review article : Sarbajit Sarkar