Joe Rosenblatt’s latest collection of poems, The Bird in the Stillness, presents a forest in chiaroscuro—a delicate ecosystem held in tenuous balance by cycles of life and death, light and darkness, companionship and solitude. It provides a rich buffet of physical, spiritual and artistic nourishment for any pilgrim who cares to walk the woodland path ... and acknowledge that his warranty on breathing might be nearing its expiry.
Joe Rosenblatt is an accomplished author and artist who, over the course of a five-decade career has produced over twenty books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and visual art. He was the second poet to be published by Coach House Press, which released The LSD Leacock in 1966. Rosenblatt has since received several major awards, including the Governor General’s Award for his poetry collection Top Soil, as well as the B.C. Book Prize for Poetry Hotel in 1986. He lives in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.
This is a collection populated by eighty-foot-long boa constrictors and carnivorous pitcher plants. Of colossal clams that inhale noxious volcanic fumes and of bioluminescent ocean-dwelling critters that appear as ghostly mermaids to unsuspecting submariners. It is a collection in which the unfortunate Monster Boy copes with the consequences of schoolyard bullying—and flesh-liquefying stomach acid—while the agoraphobic Birdman ‘strives to ascend skyward’ though he is permanently grounded.
The poems and musings in Bite Me! are interested in ‘the bizarre side of Mother Nature’s handiwork’, from the depths of the ocean to the wilds of the tropical rainforest ... to the cozy hearth of the domesticated housecat. In this collection characterized by isolation and unquenchable need, Rosenblatt celebrates life in all its varied forms while awaiting that moment when ‘time drifting as a bottom feeder makes a meal of us’.