- Kind: Perfectbound
- Pages: 108
- Language: English
- Date Published: September, 2023
- ISBN 978-1-953252-82-1
Follow the ley lines, follow the stars, go down among the lost and the broken. Via psalms, prophecies, chants, invocations, and the whole library of Alexandria, dream by dream, via Love, Art, Mathematics and Magic, verse by verse, stork by crow, electron by anecdote, Le Bateleur of Further Adventures conjures a cosmos, through which Pascal Wanderlust, haunted, double-souled Holy Schlemiel of Tarot and Torah, roves, hopefully, sorrowfully, awkwardly, trippingly, in search of the way home, because, like the secret language hidden in every word we speak, though we are lost in this fiasco we call the world, and in the apocalypse we call the heart, paradise is still spread out over the earth, and the gnostic rover’s desire to be elsewhere, if truth be told, is the desire to be truly here, yes, here, where the Zohar unfolds in petals of splendor, and a female form, banded black and gold, hovers on four translucent wings. Her swarm surrounds her, humming hosannas. Onward, then, into the book. —Billie Chernicoff
Behind every poem is a story, and behind
every story is a poem. Perhaps it’s as simple
as that. Perhaps our fascination with esoteric
meaning, the game we play with hidden truths,
defends us from a hermeneutic emptiness,
which in the end we cannot deny. And yet
we would be naked without our hermetic
guise. What is Pascal Wanderlust without
that cloak and hood, those flowered Docs?
The young Pascal collects exotic tchotchkes,
talismanic bric-a-brac, hangs velvet drapes
and tapestries to hide an ordinary view.
Waiting for a client, waiting for a summons,
Wanderlust finds that thaumaturgy, to say
nothing of philosophy, only goes so far when
studied in a single room. Pascal’s double
nature, despite that dedication to Thrice-
Great Hermes, leads to resistances one needn’t
call on Sprechenbaum to explain. Dr. Freud
or Dr. Strange? If you hope to save a soul
in danger, you must confront the demons
that you share. Pascal’s demons wait around
every corner, behind every statuette, in every
fold of those drapes. Every fold of that cloak. . . .
Norman Finkelstein is a poet, critic, and Emeritus Professor of English at Xavier University. His most recent book of criticism is To Go Into the Words, a volume of selected essays, which appears in the Poets on Poetry series from the University of Michigan Press. He writes and edits the poetry review blog Restless Messengers.