Memories of Fantasies



by Charles Flowers
A Midsummer Night’s Press. 60 pages, $16.


I’VE KNOWN Charles Flowers for many years as an editor, but never as a poet. So you can imagine my surprise when I opened his first book of poetry (many years in the making), and discovered poems of such quiet beauty and intense passion, of such unobtrusive mastery and such defiant vulnerability, that I sat slack-jawed in appreciation.

            Flowers’ poems are slippery things. They slide so smoothly between memory and dream, fantasy and reality, the present and childhood, that I sometimes didn’t notice the transitions. Nor do I think he wants us to know exactly where we are. All experiences are mixed in the solvent of language or superimposed on each other.

            Take his lovely penultimate poem “Easter,” which begins with Flowers and his sister disassembling the home where they grew up because the last surviving parent, their mother, has died.

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 David Bergman is the poetry editor for this magazine.


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