Truthfully, I’m a little torn on whether or not I should write my review on this book as I fear that it’ll be tremendously difficult for any interested reader to find it, or even anything about it, given it’s a collection of poems by a group of underground poets. I personally found the book by chance in a tiny second-hand shop in the Hudson Valley. I realize, though, that not writing the review would only perpetuate its lack of recognition, and as such I’m reviewing it regardless — this book is beautiful, as are the poems inside of it, and it deserves to be talked about. Finding this book, or anything else published by C. Stoneground, is a difficult but tremendously rewarding process.
Nevertheless, the book itself is soft-cover and was printed “on a brother WP-2500Q using an english brougham 10 cassette daisy wheel and a correctable 1030 film ribbon” as is explained on the last page, having been “published by hands” in Ithaca, NY. The front cover features a small, seemingly hand-drawn sketch on paper which resembles a brown paper bag.
The poems included are innovative and original; they explore sound and image as well as space, both regarding how the poems fit into the space of the page and in the space of the universe. The poems individually confront a variety of issues, from politics to pop culture to love, but feel connected by the common thread of their style and elegance.
Ultimately, if it all possible, I highly, highly recommend exploring the work of these artists. There’s so much variety and beauty packed into a delicate, handmade book, and the book itself has the same amount of consideration as each of the poems inside of it.
Just to give you some insight into the specifics of the poetry, here’s a set of two of my favorite poems from the book, both by Randy Ahart:
“my own grave”
my own grave in
my own grave.
“the hole(slowly he”
there comes a time
when a young man
goes down in the
hole he has dug for himself.
he hopes his hole is too small)
These poems, of course, are only representative of one of the poets included in the book, and even then, Ahart has far longer works than these. If, though, these sparked your interest at all I implore you to pursue Ahart, or any of the other C. Stoneground poets. These poems are begging you to read them.