Welcome, spring! And welcome my new poetry book!
My new poetry chapbook, titled “Cocktails in the Wild,” was published on March 27 by Unsolicited Press and is available from their website at
The ‘cocktails’ in the title refer to a poem about Lebanon called “Cocktails on the Balcony.” and was inspired by visits to our daughter’s home in Beirut, where in fact most of the ‘cocktails’ we enjoyed while happily idling on her lovely balcony consisted of various kinds of freshly squeezed orange juice.
That poem begins:
Three green peoples
With Mediterranean View
Drinks on you
The “wild” in “Cocktails in the Wild” refers to the content of many of these poems — the grim seasons of the American 2016 presidential campaign; a squawking peaceable kingdom in Florida (watch out for the alligators); a misunderstanding in a phone call to India; a rant about the shortcomings of our “arthritic sclerotic idolized Constitution.”
Here’s how one of my wilder rants on the state of American political culture, titled “Sacred Cowers,” begins:
the arthritic sclerotic idolized Constitution, the all too semi-sovereign states,
the short-circuited electrical college,
those doddering fools squatting on an ancient panel of archons supreme:
Rule by anachronism
… And it goes on from there.
Here’s some of what the publisher said about my book:
COCKTAILS IN THE WILD explores poetic form wildly from couplets to long winding lines that swallow the reader up and transport them to a new place. A place for the senses. A place for the heart. Robert Knox toys with political and social conventions of today’s modern landscape, and at the same time lets the reader revel in all of niceties of the natural world.
…. The poems take us from a balcony in Beirut, a place of beauty, history and danger, to the grim seasons of the American 2016 presidential campaign. We place a phone call to India, view a squawking peaceable kingdom in Florida (mind the alligators lurking below), raise a glass in homage to Keats and Philip Larkin, and remember that the way things were is not a recipe for tomorrow, but a gateway to today. Let’s walk through it to the wildness in ourselves.
Publishers are expected to praise the books they choose to publish, but I still appreciate nice things said about my work.
A chapbook is a half-sized poetry collection; this one is 21 poems in 50 pages. They’re popular with publishers of poetry because their small size helps keep the publishing costs down.
“Cocktails in the Wild” is my second chapbook within the last year. The first, published last May, titled “Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty,” was published by Finishing Line Press and is available from that press’s website:
… or from me, by writing me at email@example.com.
I do love spring — and all that blooms. Happy Passover, and Happy Easter.