In a time when so much that passes for poetry is little more than flimsy anecdote, Dave Etter’s brief narratives are whole stories that matter. Deceptively simple, they embody the distinctive phrasings of a verbal jazz musician at the top of his form. And in his blues-tinged lyric mode, Etter has no big-hearted equal. What comes through always is the music; we’re in the presence of someone who knows that good poetry is bigger than the poet. The music is both driving force and surest sustenance around. Whether describing the profligate nature of wildflowers (“On the Wild Side”), Henry James as relationshipender (“Sisters”), waiting in line at the pharmacy (“Prescription”) or the farm bay who’d rather be painting in Paris (“Next Time You See Me”), Etter’s sly, sensuous lines accumulate to sing out the delights and frustrations or real human life on the planet. And it’s a joy-ful noise: only Etter can get away with the grinning in “I’d love a slice of bread/ and all of you” (“Star Eyes”). One of Etter’s beloved jazzmen, Illinois Jacquet, makes a cameo appearance in this collection. But he’s got nothing on Illinois Etter, who blows some of the coolest, cooking-est poems on the scene. And as long as Etter keeps swinging, this country can’t help but have a song in it’s heart (land). Bravo-and Encore! — David Clewell
“Etter has done it again. Eye. Ear. Voice. Win. Place. Show. And the one who redeems the ticket is, as always, the reader.” — Bill Kloefkorn
“Since first reading Etter’s timeless Go Read the River, I have looked forward to, and been thankful for, each new collection. Next Time You See Me is another winner.” — Chris Halla
Published widely in the small press, Etter’s work is highly regarded. This collection contains strong poems about love, relationships, and human comedies. Excerpt:
Then, finally, spring, / a strong girl now, / no weak sister / teasing us between / cold snaps and snow showers, / came galloping through / the green tongues of grass, / her dress above her ears / in the lusty wind, / her naked breasts / gold wildflowers / swelling in the sun.
Wolfsong is a publisher of contemporary poetry. Limited, signed copies of Wolfsong books are available upon special request. Address all inquiries to: Wolfsong Publications 3123 South Kennedy Drive Sturtevant, Wisconsin 53177
Next Time You See Me by Dave Etter, 1997, 34 pp. $12 – Please contact Wolfsong Publications via firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in buying this chap.