Drunken Buddha

Big Drink is available at The Book Collector, 1008 24th Street.

In a departure from its usual thumbnail-sized Poems-for-All editions, the 24th Street Irregular Press has published this chapbook of Crawdad Nelson’s longer work. His gentle observations of the natural world are coupled with a Zen-like desire to quiet the mind and a realistic approach to the difficulty of doing so. The opening poem, “Conditions,” exemplifies this with the repeated actions of a “Buddha nature” seeking the unknowable, only to find it in the search. In the prose poem, “Drunk,” Nelson uses the form to examine every aspect of inebriation: “I was drunk. Good and proper drunk. Antidisestablishmentarianism drunk. Drunk as a duck. Drunk as a truckload of dynamite.” He also returns to the natural world for solace, as in “Encounters With White Owls”: “We can look up / but we can’t break / away—”