If you like
— Latin American Communists
— plants with big, leafy palms
— wide and unruly rivers
— natural disasters
— cypress swamps
— things in jars on shelves
then you should read Richard Boada’s The Error of Nostalgia.
I first met Richard Boada at a Millsaps Arts and Lecture event. I use the word “met” lightly — he was standing in front of me in line. I didn’t know who he was at the time, but through careful observation (i.e. eavesdropping), I learned that he was a poet. And not only was he a poet, but he was finishing up his first book.
The first night I took Boada’s The Error of Nostalgia home, I read it in one sitting. And then reread it. The collection is other-worldy in its globe-spanning scope. The poems have a bit of magic in them (think Gabriel Garcia Marquez in verse). They are as vibrant as insects pinned to the page: iridescent images shift with each reading like rare beetles, intricate narratives pattern like butterfly wings, lines caterpillar twist.
The barber has been bankrupt
since the flood. The town’s bald,
men and women, no longer visit
since the lakes rose and stunned.
Combs prostrate in disinfecting jars,
once mitochondrial in his hands.
Dozens of tonics on shelves
multiply in lipid mirrors,
refracting electric lights.
The jilted shaving brush and razors
foul rust. The barber can only trim
his bougainvillea’s viscous petals.
There has never been winter,
and now red January sludge
anoints, lathers and steams.
Lathers and steams.
Richard Boada will be at Lemuria Wednesday, February 26th, signing at 5, reading at 5:30.