What Readers & Writers Say re: Contradiction

Contradiction by Michael Boer

Contradiction by Michael Boer
ISBN: 978-1-6886-0817-7
Available now.

Comments appear here with the permission of each writer.

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David Allan Evans / http://davidallanevans.com/

I like the variety of poetry and pictures in Contradiction by Michael Boer. I like a lot of these poems. Being an offshoot of the William Carlos Williams school as a writer and reader of poetry, I especially like the shorter pieces. For instance, The Unforgetting, The Unimpaired Wind, Weathering Time, Exit by the Front Door at this Stop, Father’s Mirror, Motel Smoke Alarms. The ones I like the very best are Cord Theory and BYO Animal for DIY Meatpacking, especially since I worked in a packing house and observed pigs, etc. The book shows a man with great curiosity about the world and life, and I like that. This comes out so well in his tendency to write list poems. He’s really good at that!

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Jack Garvey / https://buskersdelight.home.blog/author/buskersdelight/ / https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Garvey/e/B00K4EHUZK

Michael Boer’s Contradiction has a commanding look, cover & page layout. Well done, a weight well worth the wait! Love The Mission page. It’s a masque! (No matter how 21st century the word “tweet” is.) The phrase “speak for itself” will conjure up Robert Mueller. Trigger page is also inspired.

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Arthur Lee Jacobson / http://www.arthurleej.com/ / https://www.amazon.com/Arthur-Lee-Jacobson/e/B001KCBXN0

Contradiction, Michael Boer’s new book, shows an admirable combination of his analytic mind with an artistic, humorous liberal arts approach. It is highly personal, its moods varying just like his music does. It reveals his strong power of observation and sensitive reflection. While reading, at various times I thought: award-worthy, baffling, beautiful phrasing, moving, puzzling, and wow. It is not what an editor would call a balanced or consistent book, but serves as an indirect partial autobiography, or at least introduction to how he thinks. Well done!

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Contradiction

Contradiction Front CoverContradiction by Michael Boer
ISBN: 978-1-6886-0817-7

Available now.

Find it via Amazon.com (where you can Look Inside for a free preview): https://www.amazon.com/dp/1688608176

Find it via Powells.com:
https://www.powells.com/book/contradiction-9781688608177

Find it via AbeBooks.com:
https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30560150747

If you are not comfortable ordering online, your favorite local bookstore may be able to find it for you with the ISBN number shown above. Our research suggests that if they are willing to order it, you may be asked to pay in advance and the price may be set to absorb their shipping costs. Fair enough.

Reading a poem makes a performer of you. You cast your own voices for the writer’s first- and third-person characters, deciding, almost unthinkingly, whether the writer’s second-person is yourself or someone else. Not always effortlessly, you sort out the scenes, images, sequences, quotations, and metaphors. You evaluate each of the writer’s assertions, accepting them into or rejecting them from the framework of your own thoughts. Poetry is a kind of source code, requiring little math but rich in context, grammar, and logical subroutines, which your mind may assemble into the mesh of your own library of eclectic grammar, logic, and contradictions.

Your reading is thus uniquely your own collaboration with the writer.

Even the Dead Dream

IMG_5779-halloween-sPrairie churchyard, 2017
Lake County, South Dakota (photo by Michael Boer)

Even the Dead Dream

Stained glass window sills,
heaped with flies and bees
who will hum no more.

I found his marker
shaded by a spruce growing
beside his parents’ graves.

Awakening from melancholia,
I recalled loaning him my watch
for a year’s final midnight countdown.

Then I saw Joseph
driving his blue beetle
toward the nearby crossroads

Seeing someone
stopped by those graves,
he swerved between shallow ditches.

He pulled a U-ey over the harrowed gravel
and screeched to a dusty halt
beside the stone prairie church.

How you been, Joe?
“Busy. Real busy. A crazy lady keeps
pestering me over some Santeria bullshit.”

Joe. I want my watch back.
Says he, scowling, “I still need it.
Until midnight, in Medellín.”

Joe. You once told me,
“I wish I could just sleep
through my whole life.”

He remembers, nodding, “Yeah,
but even the dead cannot
stay asleep long enough for me.”

Joe. What kind of shit is that?
“This? I put this on in the dark!
Does it look more like a shroud than a shirt?”

Any sharing of something as private as a dream
is imperfect, not like the way churchyard occupants
comfortably share their practice made-perfect unconsciousness.

Excerpted from Contradiction by Michael Boer, a collection of poetry, prose, and photographs, coming this winter.

The Commodity of Free Time

Access by appointment only

Free time is a mark of privilege, rather than an equal right. Instead of chasing an unrealistic concept of meritocracy, we should be striving for equity. –Dries Buytaert from The privilege of free time in Open Source

DrupalCon is underway in Seattle at the moment, prompting me to pay out some of my free time to explore what Dries has been up to lately. His recent essay about diversity and equity may include insights relevant to other fields. Continue reading