This book of poetry is a soundbite, a short 12 pages of original lightening in the New Age Renaissance Republic of Poetry, Taxi Cab Voice by Neil Flowers. A Poet
who has worked as a writer, director and actor for theatre, film and radio. A Poet of aliases, Neil Whiteman, Monk Besserer amongst others was born in Montreal and
has lived in the United States, Mexico, Italy and British Columbia. He studied literature at Carleton University under Poet/Professor Robert Hogg. Poet Flowers
edited the Northern Comfort Anthology published by Commoners’ Press, 1973.
The Poet travels and Taxi Cab Voice was written in Los Angeles, Ottawa, and Albuquerque over a period of years. This poetry write is a celebration of new images, new use of language in sophisticated working class blues. There are references to broken serial lovers, and the manifestation of emotional flat line after much time, the violence of broken covenant. And the idea of travel, driving the car across the country, some endless highway, as if in rhetorical sequence. In the background it is as if the memory of the Canadian Great Depression of the 1930’s lingers, infuses the writing, you can feel the dust across the Prairies, people riding the rails, the breadlines, the want and not. The Quebecois Poet also occasionally uses French words, adding a distinct Montrealais ouvre to the write. The Poet is an Oracle, infusing the work with a subtle wisdom.
“1: LES NEIGES D’ANTAN
said your Mexico journal
back in the 60s
our classical Athens
O where have they gone the lean aces and maximus men?
Jongleurs of the folk scene, the blues revival?
Women with rainbows for eyes?
We meet to part and go our separate ways
No one in the streets now
save the old lady in broken shoes
and Sally Ann overcoat
chartreuse with gold (plastic) buttons
lugs her bags
shuffles toward that trailer park
mind on tinned tomato soup
You were there
etching the empty spaces
A million burst from my head every day
Finding your own you stepped clear
Clear out of frame”
The poetry is post-modern, a broken thought train, no rhyme, in parts as if you are seeing one half of a conversation. In parts, cadence is created through the repetition of words and lines, a sing song rhythm that creates sonance, a certain reckoning with the world. And it is a stark truthtelling, the places where love aches and leaves us.
Like some song sung on the back of a flatbed truck, the wind in your hair, in your eyes, open to all the elements of nature, the poetry rains down. And it’s another day, another night on the road. A brilliant read, Taxi Cab Voice by Neil Flowers.
Available at above/ground press.
Genre: Poetry, New Age