By Ed Shacklee
In his impressive bestiary, The Blind Loon, Ed Shacklee shows as keen an insight into the nature of the beast roaming free as into the beast within. This encyclopedic collection includes the commonplace python, monkey, crocodile, tortoise, camel; the mythical kraken, lamia, chimera, wyvern; the prehistoric ankylosaurus; the fantastical logorrhea, mope, snub, hipster. Shacklee doles out marvels, mischief and hilarity in The Blind Loon, and the breathtaking illustrations of Russ Spitkovsky provide an accompanying visual feast and are by themselves worth the price of admission.
A Fog of Blurbs
Their plumage is a sheen of words whose meanings are the same—
inveigling, too often heard, obnoxious birds, but tame,
their mewling call is pecks of praise without one speck of blame.
Indifferent if they foul their nests or poop rains on the rabble,
garrulously gathered on the garret eaves of Babel,
they preen as they pontificate on arts in which they dabble,
for truth goes out the window when the Blurbs fly into town;
a mist of cloying tidings, thought essential to renown,
their beaks grow long and longer and are uniformly brown.
Ed Shacklee, whose poetry has appeared in the Able Muse, Light, and Rattle among other journals, is a public defender who represents young people. He lives on a boat in the Potomac River. The Blind Loon is his first full-length collection.
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