David Budbill recently performed his poems with The William Parker Quartet at THE STONE on New York’s Lower East Side on October 12th, for details go to: http://thestonenyc.com/calendar.php?month=1 and scroll down to October 12th.
The band and David will repeat the show in Milan, Italy, on November 17th at the Teatro Manzoni, for more information go to: http://aperitivoinconcerto.com/index.php?idPagina=2-1&evento=4
David has published several poetry books and CDs of performance poetry. He was a contributor to The Conium Review‘s Spring 2013, and his Park Songs: A Poem/Play, was recently released from Exterminating Angel Press (2012).
Written by David Budbill
Copper Canyon Press, 2011
Like a knock on the noggin from a Zen master’s cane, David Budbill’s “Happy Life”
hits home with a clarity that made me laugh out loud – ah, truth! He captures the essence of the seasons, chopping wood, carrying water, before and after enlightenment. In this, his ninth poetry collection, the poet, playwright, novelist, short story and children’s book writer reflects on forty years of a ‘happy life’ with one eye on the Tao and an honesty that admits to being, like the beautiful women he sees on trips to the city, ‘preoccupied with sex and ambition.’ But not so much so as to disturb his concentration on a candle flame in the dark, a tiny flower in the woods, or the feel of wet leaves on the path. Shortest of many masterfully spare poems is the four word (six counting title) “Cynical Capitalists” : ‘Privatize profit. / Socialize loss.’ which pretty much sums it up, leaving very little else to be said about all that. In one of his wry reflections on ageing, he looks at his wrinkled skin, sitting down, wearing shorts and wonders “What Happened to Me?” as we all do, or will. Like the classical Zen poet Hanshan, writing of his Cold Mountain life in 8th century Tang dynasty China, Budbill’s contemplations of this human life from his Vermont mountain are timeless.
Review by Susan Lynch
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