Tuesday, November 4, 2008

October 2008 page 5

'Nakayubi Three:
the unmeaning and the holy city' by Dave Besseling

A Review by Bernard Alain

Dave Besseling's work finds itself at the defining edge of contemporary poetry, implementing text shape and sometimes photography to provide a microscopic view of various cultures and practices. The reflections are a result of almost seven years of travelling and living abroad as an artist and journalist. The voice is generally consistent among publications, leaving the sense of mild cultural shock with the reader, often purposely archaic in it's phrasing and in-your-face as a lack of emenities and ethics become evident while hiking through a contrast of religious and political domains.

'Nakayubi Three: the unmeaning and the holy city' for the most part, is consistent with this standard and the photography and content well placed to provide a unique cross-section of rural India, focusing on the travels through the various locales leading up to Varanasi, the oldest city in the world. The journey is speckled with a few guest appearances from the infamous Dr. Heagney, Besseling's real-life mentor and as well includes color close-ups revealing unique angles of the architecture, the locals and their paraphernalia. The cover deserving mention as the front and back are one continuous photograph of a wall around the holy city, creating the feel of a more intimate wall around his own thoughts. The content is creative and engaging with profanities that seem to mutate out of circumstance, more colloquial in expression. The following is a closing quote from the poem Varanasi:

I asked of the unmeaning:
- What is the point of this life?
It replied:
- First, you live it; then you die it. Enjoy the music.

Although I miss the GPS co-ordinates, a unique deviation in form used in his previous poetry publications, the compression of locales possibly make it less significant and the photography easily compensates for it's absence.

'Nakayubi Three: the unmeaning and the holy city' is a great addition to any poetry collection and will easily satisfy medium to advanced readers.

The Cartier Street Review

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