Though decidedly unconventional, Brazil, Indiana
delivers. There is no guaranteed comfort provided for a seeker of poetry, only endless vistas and claustrophobic instances. Irony as verse. Rarely recreational, the poet Beatty claws his way into a reality, leaving himself a bloody mess and his reader scurrying for a tourniquet and gauze. But all is not what it appears. A cleverness abounds and exhibits itself not only as a good time
, but as a perfected method into our deepest thoughts, not only about ourselves but those around us. It is about finding place among others in the world. Not easy for some of us who choose instead to quell this human need with alcohol and drugs, or prescribed medications designed to deaden these feelings finally once and for all. But to really feel is what is human, and to courageously deal with the iniquities that a life lived hands us on a daily basis. What better way to prepare for our coming death than to establish a basis for it? Crazy talk coming from a fellow poet, but a concept accepted for centuries by some of the brightest and best among us. It only tastes like nails going down.
The unconscious plays a most important role in establishing any artifact. Resisting efforts to ignore or disrespect, creativity can raise its ugly head, announcing a relevance in motion. Unable to resist its mirrored gaze, the substance of art presents itself in ways often unimaginable, but still remains familiar, as is often the case in things perceived as uncanny. What is often discounted and deemed frivolous breathes as a fiery entity. And the horror of the unknown profits by our unseeming understanding. I was what sweet neighbors called odd.
The cohesiveness of Brazil, Indiana
is astounding. Beatty manages to keep his outside mediators at bay. Any need for agenda or social politics so prevalent in verse today are absent from his page. Only Beatty’s world of Brazil, Indiana
, enlarging upon itself with a young character’s steady voice proclaiming his own right to exist and then daring the reader to think otherwise. A difficulty overcome in remembering the irony and dishonesty of adults. A small town ripe with contrasts of distinction. Killing is deep all the way down.
It must be further noted that poems are rarely written with an execution as precise as Beatty’s work. It is refreshing to read a work that is not contrived or laced with sentimentality. And never nostalgic, but always directly gazing into the past. Poems are song and Brian sings beautifully. Absent flowery language, pretty words, and tags with feeling, the poems speak their language truthfully. A thing unusual these days. The sad, sour eyes in there stayed locked doors.