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82pp. +  Soft Cover. Perfect Bound. 6" x 9". 

$14.95 + $3.50 Shipping
 

 

We The People
by Phillip Larrea

 

Phillip Larea has crafted a diverse and succulent meal of poetry for us inside these pages. In Night Ferry he adds a quiet desperation to the personified push and pull of everyday living. Hallowe’en lends insight into the depths of the human psyche, a deft word painting of the masks we show the world and the ones we don’t. Larrea moves into form poetry in Scrapbook Villanelle, a wonderful write that brings to mind Robbie Burns musings in To A Mouse: "The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley."

Suitcase In Hand is a successful exercise in brevity– short and succinct yet says it all in 7 simple but powerful lines that describe everyone’s life at some point in time. Death March is a compact portrayal of the ineffectual meaning of life in the grand scheme of things showing us the best results in living occur when it is casually dealt with.

My personal favorite is The Punch Line. Larrea’s depth of talent shines brilliantly through in this cleverly crafted poem. It begs a second and third read, each one savoured a little more each time.

This is an evocative and commendable offering from Phillip Larrea and a very welcome addition to my "favorites" bookshelf.

Candice James,
Poet Laureate, City of New Westminster
BC CANADA

 

 

‘We The People’ is the second collection of poetry from Phillip Larrea. In his foreword he asks us to consider the ‘quietly desperate’ and acknowledge that ‘They are us.’ This though is not a collection of political but more a collection of deeply humanitarian poems that name the freedoms denied, the genesis of corruption at the heart of the American Dream and the consequences for a people caught within this modern day Kafkaesque trial. The first poem ‘Arrested’ stops us in our tracks with iambic meter punching out the insanities inherent in the recent ‘Aaron Swartz’ case and is echo’s in earlier cases of the Government bypassing the people in order to Govern itself apart. He uses Haiku’s, Tricubes ( an invention all his own ) and sonnets to unleash his own particular brand of cutting insight leavened with a wry humour and profound sensibility that through the course of his collection allows one to begin to see the implications of a society drowning in enforced and inhumane uniformities.

In the midst, the poet finds amongst the business of life ‘a parking lot / descending to serenity.’ Other times he captures moments that stand still like Hopper’s paintings , ‘Door stands halfway open / Day tips, hangs / In the balance.’ Moments that echo the tragedy of American history, ‘Knights, castle / Queen lost. King / Checkmated.’ We hear the voices of hipsters, of beats, of Zen masters, of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. We come to hear the voice amongst the multitude of sins visited upon this strange and wonderful land. We hear of his Irishness, ‘Tempting as hemlock / To a starving soul.’ He reminds us of thinkers who may have lit better ways. ‘In Locke’s box / Not worth much, /But sturdy.’

In the end it is the art of his work that illuminates everything else. His sure sense of meter and rhyme, his careful shephering of his words through so many voices. In the end he invokes TS Eliot and offers his own declaration : ‘T.S. Eliot begins and ends. / Here, like a struck match, he begins again.’

To get a sense of America today, this indeed would be a fine starting point.

Brendan McCormack,
Writer/Poet
Dublin, Ireland


 

"Phillip Larrea encourages thought in his readers and excellence in his friends. This is his most pernicious fault. From his Frost inspired and Zen-like tricubes, to his darkly humorous Letter from Thomas Jefferson, Phillip Larrea gives poetic variety a facelift. For my money, any poet who can use the word ekphrastic (What She Saw There) must be either incredibly erudite or crazy. Phillip Larrea may be both."

Jt Odochartaigh,
Writer/Poet
Placerville, CA

 

 

Phillip Larrea walks the literary waters. On top. (Not like that "Weekend at Bernie’s" character.)

Phillip Larrea is the man to turn a poem into an artful lesson about the world: the world of revolutions, the world of torched economies, the world of the past becoming the present. He is the how-we-got-in-this-mess poet. Phillip turns an artful phrase, manipulates an allegory, and somehow begets the fluttery butterfly in China that becomes the hurricane in your backyard. Not a bad trick for a poet.

He is also the writer to make you laugh, and as you do laugh, you puzzle for the moment with, "wait a minute...did he mean what I think he means there?"

You buy the words on the page, but you get the twinkle in his eyes.

Evan Myquest
Poet/Writer
Sacramento, CA

 

 

Phillip Larrea is the editor of "minutedots" investment newsletter, a syndicated columnist and has been a widely published poet in the U.S., U.K. and Eastern Europe. He counts Robert Frost, Mark Twain, T.S. Eliot and D.H. Lawrence as his most important modern literary influences. All of these writers share that quality of being as interesting for what they don’t say, as for what they do say; how Eliot expands his text with allusion; how Lawrence evokes the interior monologue; the secular rage behind Twain’s humor in his book, Letters from the Earth. No one has influenced Phillip Larrea’s poetry more than Robert Frost, however. Not the Frost of "Stopping by Woods…," or "Road Less Traveled", but rather, the "Dust of Snow" Frost. This poem in particular, inspired the original short form Phillip Larrea calls a ‘TriCube’- many examples of which you will find in this book. The mathematical precision of these poems have their roots in "Dust of Snow". Finally, as Archibald MacLeish once wrote, "A poem should not mean, but be." The author is thrilled that this book has come into ‘being’.