Granada Books, newly up and running at 1224 State Street, returns an independent bookstore to our downtown and has already become the happening place for Santa Barbara poetry performance. On Saturday, October 12, 4 p.m., two widely respected southland poets will read from new collections: Paul Lobo Portugés, teacher of poetry and film at UCSB, and Michael Hannon of Los Osos. An open mike will follow.
Both writers are founts of passion and experimentation. Hannon, author of four previous full-length volumes and an impressive variety of limited edition art books, offers what could best be described as Deep Image work in meditations from nature, spirituality, and domestic life. To catch his tone and passion, his daring and profundity, consider these lines from “Solar Fur” in Imaginary Burden: Selected Poems.
One morning your eyes
Peel back the fresco of sleep
And a blank wall redeems you
Many of the poet’s selections from a prolific writing life of now 53 years serve as enigmatic lightening flashes toward ultimate meanings and wonderings regarding incarnated metaphysics. Hannon is a master whose words reveal ultimate apprehensions in the manner of the Zen finger pointing at the moon. His writing is terse, riddling, penetrant, and steeped in a brave beauty.
“What the River Said”
Both arms full of willows,
I fall onto fields of light.
Reading with Hannon is our own Paul Lobo Portugés, filmmaker, literary scholar, and widely published creator of poetry marked by deep feeling, erotic daring, and an exceptional warmth and inventiveness. Here’s a typical Portugés exploration of the pleasures and conundrums of intimacy:
Her pressed violets
Fall from my daybook
As I write about her
Or lines typically combining the political and personal:
Worry about Fukushima
Look for a star
Pray cough blood laugh
In a gathering of themes ranging from political horrors to the costs and pleasures of family life, filled with copious detail and ponderings, we’re given through hurtling words the very man who suffers and attends, hands ultimately filled with blessings.