the CHANTILCLEER POET
JEFF WAYNE-PATRICK RUSSELL
Jeff Wayne-Patrick Russell aka the Chantilcleer poet starts his Dinner Jacket Poems with a boyhood visit to his grandmother's apartment in Glendale, CA where he's fascinated by the Knockittttty, knock knocks of woodpeckers pecking on telephone poles in her neighborhood. With "yells of silence" he takes us on a quest to the "streets of Gold" where he "dreams of a Coliseum in Eternity."
The pilgrim does not travel alone. There are desert paths to be sure where "a snake slithers past the moon, leaving them both to crawl home to caves and holes." But there are also Happy Hour epiphanies where a margarita dancer shares with him a glimpse of her beauty and moments of "sarcastic bliss among friends over a' good-beer."
There are times the quester needs to be in solitude:
"And if you want to talk to me
There are times he seeks solidarity with a significant other:
"ohhhhhhhh Lord your girllllllllllllllllllllll - for... meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"
When she's found and "Reeling and rocking as our flame grows - higher than others" he leads "Make our flame last."
My favorite poem of his near the end of the book is ME...AND DECIBEL TETON...where "lying on a stone" he drinks from a cactus and with gaze fixed upon a spiraling hawk pleads
"Hawk, stay long,
Hawk, stay long
Return me to myself."
I couldn't agree more.