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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pre-sale: Bradley Mason Hamlin Zen in the Art of Drinking (Holy & Intoxicated Publications, East Sussex, 2017) 32 pages



Release date: 21 June 2017

This is a limited 75 copy release, each individually signed and numbered by the Californian writer Bradley Mason Hamlin. Visit his website here: http://mysteryisland.net/zen.html

The chapbook consists of 21 poems. The writing is laid back, sparse, sometimes elegantly constructed. At times, the wry humour and the second person poems addressed to anonymous women are reminiscent of the poet Bill Gainer.

Some of the better poems "Bruised by the Grape", "Ghost Party" and "Suburban Bourbon (1)" reveal the darker side of booze- the "bloody drunken brawls", "the terrible fall", the "crashing intoxicated cars, the "insanity", the "suiciding out".

Suburban Bourbon (1)

sometimes
when I'm stuck
drinking with other men
they try to drink more
or quicker
or weirder

they begin to slur
talk shit
and stare
at my wife's tits
while telling
their own wives to fuck off

they want more
they want something
they think
they don't have

but they've never
been inside the E.R.
with a bleeding ulcer
or behind the bars
of the Navy brig
or in bare knuckle
fights for life

there are
no easy shortcuts,
just ice it down
and make sure
the lawn
stays
nice and green.

(reprinted with the publisher's permission)

This sense of sloushed darkness is juxtaposed by closely observed anecdotal poems about listening to jazz, getting lost in the flesh of beautiful women and trying to figure out how "to play that perfect note". Favourites include "Chianti instead of coffee", "Let's Not Talk About It" and "L Street Blonde".

L Street Blonde

the
thing of it is

it
should be pure

like
Louie Armstrong's trumpet

thing of it is
you
have
just this one chance

this life
to
make an impression

to play
that
perfect note

to
kiss that
girl,
the one

with the perfect
eyes.

(reprinted with the publisher's permission)

The front cover is modelled by Lucy Hell, a girlfriend of Hamlin's, who appears to feature in a few of the poems. You will find the pages of this book stiff but smooth and beautiful to hold.

Buy the book here at Book Depository UK: https://www.bookdepository.com/Zen-Art-Drinking-Poems-Bradley-Mason-Hamlin/9780993206832 or direct from the publisher: John D Robinson of Holy & Intoxicated Publications: johndrobinson@yahoo.co.uk or from the writer Bradley Mason Hamlin: http://mysteryisland.net/zen.html

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