Galway Kinnell once admonished poets to sing, sing, sing, so I believe he’d be pleased with poems by CD Nelsen. Original, musical, the deliciously, ominously-titled daddy closet is a volume by a narrative poet who loves words, a lyric poet who loves a story, an American poet now, like Walt Whitman then, describing a world he couldn’t imagine; macrobiotics at a roadside diner; an aging fake clam in a mini-golf course by a fabled nuclear reactor, so near and so far from the sea. Whether unwound cassette tapes, road-struck coyotes, beheaded journalists or inedible Blackberries, CD Nelsen celebrates and grieves the contemporary world.
–D M Gordon, Nightly, At the Institute Of the Possible
In fractured images from a deep, emotional and philosophical wellspring, CD Nelsen has created this astonishing book of wildly original poems. Human beings are so frightened, says J. Krishnamurti “on a grainy video” from 1976. “Oh, yeah.” says the narrator of daddy closet. And a child, confused and “too young to know I know where water over rocks can go,” abides with a father, charismatic and frightening, a self-professed “world’s oldest teenage werewolf.” Escaping dragons of every kind, she rises to thrust her fist in the face of death, saying, “haha lifesucker, another spring has sprung & I/just climbed Monument Mountain in the rain &/finished the novel of 5 years & cleaned/ the garbage/down the road so//not ready yet. give me/a few more years. The hope throughout is rooted in the natural world, how we, like trees “anchored deep in earth/SURVIVE dry/wet, cold/hot/wind/stillness/pestilence/maniac poisoner/….”/we come up “bare or lush with LEAVES/sometimes FLOWERS/ sometimes even FRUIT”//
For an inspired journey through courageous, fear-shattering poems, read this book.
–Patricia Lee Lewis, A Kind of Yellow and High Lonesome, Patchwork Farm Writing Retreats
CD Nelsen is an irreverent original. A natural storyteller, she makes richly detailed, action-filled poems. They span her childhood where she “grew up hot as hell, in humid petrochemical Houston where Janis Joplin’s voice got its wail” to recent stories of a terrifying hawk or a huge old bull seal on a beach.
–Karen Chase, Jamali Kamali, Polio Boulevard