Richard Robbins

Winner of the lou_ham_mem_awa_20120706_125307 in 2009

Aphasiac

Welcome for coming.
Please be advised along the rails of the guided ship.
The first of every month and you were the smartest one.
Out of the heavens spun above us just like that.
The liver throbbed a basket of lilies a garbage-filled cathedral.
Please sit yourself home.
We have only begun the cave wall blooming finally with 
   animals.


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Dara Wier on Richard Robbins

One thing is certain, if in 2008 you ask a poet to identify a poem as being in the surrealist manner, you will read a lot of poems that are not boring. Their commonality revolves around imagination's centrality, manifest in detail, syntax and sequences of events. Imagination is taken out, shaken off, and put to good use. Passages of time are given place of pride in this poetry, whether it's time passing through molasses or time quicker than lightning, time in a straight line or time jumping around as it can in one's mind.

Louis Hammer, in whose honor and memory this award is established, wrote strikingly alarming poetry. He championed imagination's power to lend us its life-sustaining point of
view. The poem I've chosen happens so fast one can be excused for almost missing its adamant precision. Without explanation or excuse its plain logic in seven lines hits seven targets one at a time, or its seven sentences mark one target seven times over. Everywhere we turn, every time we look carefully around us, we see something that is worth a second look, we glimpse what we can, we feel a presence we mostly name indirectly. No stranger than we are, as ordinary as rain.

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