My Dear Readers:
I'm happy to share with you this exciting news: NeverEnding Story contributor Jack Galmitz published a collection of haiku, titled not-zero-sum (Impress 2015), that "distill words and images to the very barest essence. Each poem is unique to itself, but each contributes to the whole of the work that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each is a koan-like meditation, sufficient to itself, but each is a part connected to a greater cycle." (see Gregory K.H. Bryant's full review in the note)
About the Author:
Jack Galmitz was born in NYC in 1951. He received a Ph.D in English from the University of Buffalo. He is an Associate of the Haiku Foundation and Contributing Editor at Roadrunner Journal. His most recent books are Views (Cyberwit.net, 2012), a genre study of minimalist poetry, and Letters (Lulu Press, 2012), a book of poetry, and yards & lots (Middle Island Press, 2012; see my in-depth review here). He lives in New York with his wife and stepson.
A glass vase
holds a warped table
& a white rose
of fiery leaves
At the rectory
under the bare bulb
two men shooting up
in the pond
a few stars
Note: Below is a short review by Gregory K.H. Bryant
With non-zero-sum, Jack Galmitz, a master of minimalist poetry, has produced a collection of three line poems (with one poem of two lines, that stands out for that very reason) that distill words and images to the very barest essence.
Each poem is unique to itself, but each contributes to the whole of the work that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each is a koan-like meditation, sufficient to itself, but each is a part connected to a greater cycle. As with all minimalist poems, every mark on the page is necessary, nothing is superfluous. Absolutely nothing. The placement of the words, the shape of the letters, the spaces between them, and the space surrounding, is considered, as the silence between the notes of a symphony are as important as the notes that are played. Indeed, one might be reminded of the works of Satie while reading these. Nothing is accidental here.
These meditations come to us from the great silence surrounding us all. Each word, every letter strikes the eye like the ringlets produced by drops of rainfall upon the surface of a still lake. These poems evoke the very essence of the word `beauty', and each, I find, is beautiful, which allows us to put our attention upon the heart of the things described here, rather than being carried away by the story, or story-telling conventions (the literary equivalent of even anecdotal painting).
Do not read these with the goal of finding out where the story may take you. Savor each word, each syllable, each moment in the piece. Let your eye enjoy the placement of each letter as you might study the brush strokes of a painting in a museum. Read these for what they are, not for what they `mean'. In that way, the meaning will present itself.
Jack's poetry is light, rendered in deft and nimble touches, evoking a mood, even as we might allow ourselves to tease out the cycle that is intimated by the whole. And because his touch is so light, like the touch of a feather, the images he evokes are both powerful and profound.