Reviews - What do customers think about Moving Picture?
Exquisite Picture Oct 1, 2005
David Cazden's aptly titled new book, Moving Picture, is grounded in daily life closely observed. The book is divided in four sections that follow on with thematic integrity, the poems lush, rich with texture and imagery; they focus on the personal and back away again into the larger world, balancing fragile human interactions against nature. In Sunstroke, the speaker's mate faints and he says, "and I held your head / as if it were a huge blossom." And in Cemetery Photo Shoot
I looked above the camera, rising closer, as if to kiss her.
She shrunk back, eyes falling among the blackberries. The camera's strap
swung from my arm and the whole day unwound across the headstones.
In a voice at once contemporary and lyrical, the poet presents crafted language about experience both fully entered and briefly glimpsed. Intimate as a photograph in black and white, each piece gains psychological and poetic heft through well -considered poetic devices. In Jazz Days, Cazden riffs on romance with short, sharp lines that bring up the way
a jagged trumpet intrudes, twists like a sunfish in late afternoon waves.
Soon, the couple imagines
we're sailing on Charlie Parker's wind-powered vessel, cutting the dark notes to a far shore.
Sensory experience distilled into lean graceful lines studded with startling images abound in the poems on geometry, cooking, massage, soap: a barista's five inches of bared hips is "a stretch of warm beach/with nothing but wishes/ holding them up," a cat's claws "invisible and slim/ as wires of November rain." A woman runs, her "legs making long crosses/against the satin virburnum."
At the heart of Cazden's work a prayerful voice can be heard, gentle and melancholy, aware of the proximity of death to life, that "Each summer breaks its promise." At the sight of a cancer survivor's scar in Melanoma, he observes
This is the opposite of what a kiss might do, an unraveling of flesh, the threads sewn down.
She stares at me through glasses thick as bowls of water. At twenty five she already talks beyond the afternoon. And after
our awkward conversation I return to editing her poem, erasing a few lines, as if my hand could change a story not my own.
With that sure hand, David Cazden has given us lyrics that reflect and enrich. He is the author of one chapbook, The Joy of Cooking School, and is the Poetry Editor for Miller's Pond Magazine.