Pun times

Louisiana Calling

Sacramento poet Bill Gainer's latest chapbook Louisiana Calling ($5, NightBallet Press), collects 36 of his recent pieces (including several that originally appeared in SN&R). Gainer's work is notable for his observational approach and gentle humor; the guy loves wordplay and raises punning to its highest form. Many of the poems here are short and might almost be koans, if not for the slick and sudden twist toward the dark and physical, as in “Confessing to a Suicide”: “I've been practicing the note, / so far / all I can come up with / is — / It was me …” Light with a dark underbelly is the best way to describe Gainer's work. It's accessible, funny, thought-provoking and as welcoming as a guy on a porch holding out a cold beer. www.nightballetpress.blogspot.com.