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The Texture of Days, In Ash and Leaf.

Byline: Reprint from Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: The Texture of Days, In Ash and Leaf

Author: Bruce Kauffman

Publisher: Hidden Book Press

Date of Publication: 2013

Page Count: 152

This book of poems is the first book of poetry by Bruce Kauffman, a Poet active in the arts community in Kingston, Canada. He chairs poetry readings at the Artel in Kingston and presents the poetry readings on a radio show at CFRC on Friday afternoons, as well as editing and writing poetry.

The dedication at the beginning of the book is a quote from M.S. Merwin, “Witness” from “The Rain in the Trees” – “I want to tell what the forests/were like/I will have to speak/in a forgotten language”. A good beginning point from which his poetry rich in enigma and sorrow spins. This poetry is an incantation of the modernist work of ee cummings, there is no capitalization, very little punctuation and the words are laid over the page as if truncated, disjointed windings that have an innate rhythm. As the words dance across the page away from the hard carriage edge, it is as if the rhythm of the piece is shaken, as if the Poet Kauffman is asking us to take a breath and truly feel what is being written. “ i reach for its touch its ink my morphine its mistress my life " – from 5am, in mourning. However, Poet Kauffman’s themes are darker with greater swathes of mystery.

The Poet writes about his father’s death and funeral and about children in sight, “through shades/of ethiopia/through the haze/of Bangledesh/the children are dying”. Bleak urban images are punctuated by images from before the birth of time and influences of the natural world and the Indigenous Community. From light, eulogy “and these hearts/now in the tongue/of tomorrow’s light/and forever/whispering/to the sun”. The poetry exists within a certain romanticism and the dark edge of existentialism at daybreak. A hidden violence and the theme of sorrow in love, the poetry explores a dark mythos struggling from nothingness into the light.


"i touched the walls

of the parthenon

when i was a child

and it was new

i measured the weight

of the blocks of stone

as we built the third pyramid

until the transports came

and i counted

the dead

i sat on one end

of the great wall

of china

and watched it slither

and wind motionless

as the other end

was tied with

a string to the moon

and i was the eye

of a bird as i looked down

on a desert floor

and caught an image of the sun

in an empty mirage

until it became the edge

of darkness stealing my own

shadow turned into night

and in different flesh

these bones have skated

on all the glass

even before the canyons

and ravines defined themselves

and became but pathway to the

onslaught of heat and ice

and i



before there was


but i

never realized

how little i'd seen

how helpless i was

until i


with my thumb

to wipe a tear

from your eye"

The work is enigmatic, often dark dealing with issues of death and rebirth, spinning lyricism as if breath blowing into the universe receiving answers. Often when reading the works of other Poets I want to change the last lines, they don’t ring properly but not with Poet Kauffman, spellbinding. Truly a great read in contemporary literature, poetry to curl up with on a winter evening.

Available @ Amazon Canada.

Available @ Amazon United States.

Available @ Amazon United Kingdom.

Genre: Poetry, New Age

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© 2013