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June 25 , 2007

A Primer on Parallel Lives


“Dan Gerber tenderly reels his readers through the ‘beautiful movie’ he calls the passing of time on earth in a language completely unadorned and Zen-like in its quietude. The thing itself carries the weight of these poems, which recall the deep imagery of Vallejo, Neruda and Wright.”—Rain Taxi Dan Gerber is a master of layered, bittersweet imagery. In his seventh book of poems, he writes of childhood misgivings and fears, the oak savannah landscape of California’s central coast, and a near-mystical relationship with nature. As novelist John Nichols once wrote of Gerber’s poetry, “Dan Gerber has an exquisitely muted, yet profound understanding of tragedy, love, family, and the haunting vagaries of nature.”

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Henry Handover's perfect day navigating the waters of beautiful San Diego Bay is spoiled by a sudden horrendous storm that crashes him on some rocks rendering him unconscious. When he awakes he is on a beautiful white sandy beach of a mystical island where he meets some bizarre but endearing friends who help him to find his way back home.

“Some Distance”

I wanted to be a stone in the field,
simply that,
and then I wanted to be the grass around it,
and then the cattle grazing
under the too blue sky,
and then the blue,

which has of itself
no substance,
and yet goes on and on and on.

Dan Gerber is the author of a dozen books of poetry, fiction, essays, and memoir. He has earned the Mark Twain Award, Book of the Year honors from ForeWord Magazine, and inclusion in The Best American Poetry. He lives in Santa Ynez, California.

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