Santa Barbara’s Artamo Press has published its second poetry series of three volumes and launched the series at a reading June 17 at the Karpeles Manuscript Library: Libido Dreams by Glenna Luschei, Adventures of the Minor Poet by David Starkey, and The Doves Flew High by David Krieger. These books bring to mind Adrienne Rich’s comment in her volume on poetry and politics, What Is Found There, “A poem can’t free us from the struggle for existence, but it can uncover desires and appetites buried under the accumulating emergencies of our lives.”
To enter the poems of Glenna Luschei, longtime poet, publisher, editor, and dreammaker, you have to leave the ordinary behind and jump into the swamp of the “Great Dismal” from which “no one returns” in Libido Dreams. Her poems often haunt with stark language and spell-binding images. Her subjects are the ecstasy and anguish of love, jealousy and forgiveness, Eros, to be sure, and family. Luschei is a rancher and world traveler, and her poems are rich with the miracle of harvest, as well as the magic and magnetism of Tokyo, Bogot¡, St. Petersburg, and the Galapagos. Throughout, she shows how thin the veil is between dream and reality, how perception changes with manipulation of language:
I chase my own passion:
Amber! Resin locked in trees
for 53 million years. A mosquito’s
pinned down, wings back.
Not a bad way to spend eternity.