Poetry/Literature. 136 pages. ISBN 978-1-946104-48-9
Time Being, as in for the time being, written in, around, from a perspective (visual and otherwise) of home, a place of some incidents, knowing a home is connected to a world of homes and gardens and other (all other) places. These are poems begun in a time of pandemic, though that time, as all times, continues. So, for the time being . . .
Charles Alexander’s brilliant new work, Time Being, creates, reimagines, and reassembles the world (this world and more than this world) into astonishingly graceful song. This work braids sweetness, laughter, political awareness. I can’t think of any other poet who writes with such playful vitality, creating a fullness of representation that embodies consciousness, presence, passion, and compassion. Alexander’s gorgeous abstraction, his simplicity and directness, create a fullness of representation that makes the world is a book palpable: tangy, fully present, slipping away, coming back: “lucky to begin / in the middle / of an ocean / triple lucky with such love amid the blue // the words are best kept in poems / most explosive there / most wanting / most saving.” The roots of lyric are here, made familiar and completely new: “over hill over dale / the ravaged western / place of speed and missiles // occident and orient / all the way to the / global capital spittoon.” Time Being is a great book. We need these poems now, and always. — Joseph Lease