Jim Chapson, born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1944 was educated at San Francisco State University, and now teaches satire and other forms of writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has been a regular visitor to Ireland for over forty years and has an active involvement in the Irish literary scene. His previous book-length collection, Daphnis & Ratboy, was published by Arlen House in 2008.
"From start to finish [Chapson] presents a stunning body of work that deftly moves between razor sharp satire and passionate spiritual concern."
- Paul Vogel, An Sionnach
"Liddy's work is guided by a fierce and an independent intelligence and by an unwavering faith in the importance of poetry."
- Eamonn Wall, The Irish Times
"James Liddy was one of the most independent, engaging, and original poets of his ime. His poetry ... revealed a consistent intellectual and emotional curiosity."
- Mary Cloake, Director, Arts Council of Ireland
No One Gets Fat On Poetry
Juicy prime rib, baked potato
oozing butter, creamed spinach—
read all you want; the poem
is only a construction of words
with no real referent outside the page.
The rib is medium rare,
warm and pink in the centre,
caramelized and crunchy at the edge;
the potato soaks up the juice.
What Impression Did Neruda Make On Me?
Being introduced is somewhat an ordeal
the young poet comes to first moon and star
which is in the building of another poet
that body shaped by moon and star.
Knocked around by an aster (this no
Duncan homage but all about you)
it's like being hit by ten Springs in a season.
The sun dances on this is a country for old men
the sun dances on this is a country for young men
the roof of each house of imagery burns
the staircase goes up through it a fire ladder.
Bolaño's By Night in Chile sets the stage
what impression did Neruda make on me
the writer asked who was an old Greek god kept
awake by the moon the moon he pushed into
the young man's face a hand rested on the
young man's belt an awful tango record
whispered back at moonlight's end
Neruda my ring master my tango master
my Soviet tank but out of its top jumped beauty.
On the stair's fire top you and I bargain
as night flowers or day flowers demanding
ars poetica not chance so astral lamp-holders
we cast these shadows down on the page:
pent up flat out meteors stray ghosts of meters.