An independent small press poetry review

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Printed Matter Press
Yagi Bldg. 4F
2-10-13 Shitaya
Tokyo 110-0004
ISBN 1 933606 09 6

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This page last updated: 14th December 2007.

This collection follows on from poems printed in the Tokyo Literary Review's 'Printed Matter', 1999. Michel Englebert died at the end of 2004, aged 52, and unpublished material is brought together here. These poems are written over nine lines, arranged in three stanzas containing three lines each.

Englebert was born in Belgium and moved to Los Angeles. He was an actor and singer. These poems, no doubt, were directed towards the Blues 'scene', as the long lines seem to indicate:

	It's when you start to feel your legs give out and you begin to doubt
	your fighter's heart; and it's the one time in the fight that you will touch
	each other skin to skin; and it's the worst thing that can happen.
The above is the opening tercet of CLINCH. The book is divided into sections, one of which is called BLUES FOR MICHAEL WEST. Other sections contain a variety of topics, all in the same style. A statement is made, and an opinion offered, or an encounter acknowledged, as if in a diary. Then the poem moves on, like a grounded kite with its coloured string swaying somewhere else. For example, the following is the last tercet of CREMA:
	to look for.  And if you ever want to rid yourself of suicidal thoughts,
	consider this: a superb stream of froth can be a demonstration to
	the well initiated of the perfect life  in the hands of a sincere barista.
The endings are often surprising like this. The twists and turns are very much concerned with daily life eating, walking down the road etc. This posthumous book amply displays the voice of the late poet. It is an interesting read, a voice echoing through the streets of an earthy world.

reviewer: Doreen King.