BookThug has published a chapbook by Robert Anderson entitled The Hospital Poems. On the back cover there is a blurb by Julie Joosten “the ward becomes world, becomes the word, becomes the war.” Beauty is drawn from struggle.
The brilliance of a haiku-like beginning to “Plato’s Ward”
Morning is singular
Tangerines on the table
The image is so arresting that the mind almost blocks out what comes next. You cart away an impression of the unique moment of viewing fruit assembled on a table.
Anderson is sharp in his rendering of the moment of perception even in the midst of obliteration there is a holding on. This is how he ends “Interlude”
All the trees
you could see yesterday
from the hospital window
were cut to the ground
But he is not only a poet of the stance. He also sets the words (and numbers) dancing. The third section from “Days of Betrayal” is a set in a step-wise fashion “DSM-IV Codes of Diagnoses / 296.34 / 300.02 / 300.4 / 301.82 / 301.83”. That’s it. No comment. Just the references to labels. Looking pretty on the page.
And so for day 1326