At times weary, at times sparkling with wonder, The Imitation Blues is a fierce meditation on what is lost, what is found. The poems here are burly, flexing, but there is grace in all the musculature. Political, but never indulgent; profound, but never ephemeral. These poems are deeply rooted. A tough guy eye on mortality, but a tender heart revealed as he squints. “This losing is what we do,” Gibbons professes, but this collection is a gift you will find meaning in, again and again.
—Richard Fifield, author of The Flood Girls
This man has decided not to coat his tongue in silver. He has covered it with tree bark and Clark Fork River water. He reveals to us, the truth, the dishonesty, the actuality of how humans discover themselves. A true master who calls to the animals inside us, those beasts who know this is a good place.
—Monty Campbell, Jr., author of A Large Dent in the Moon
Insofar that The Imitation Blues makes us descend into the root cellars of the poet's heart and history, it will also praise the living and light of our days. These pages pour libation and summon the dead: John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Jack Kerouac, Jack Spicer, Ed Lahey, Guy Lombardo, Smelley the cat, and dear departed friends and family. In these poems, a lost mother will keep sowing. A father will keep working a brutal graveyard shift. Reader, don't be afraid. There's a party going on. Dylan Thomas will guide us through Golden Gate Park! I've been a fan of Gibbons' poetry for almost twenty years, and this is classic Gibbo. These poems tell the truth, and they are unafraid.
—Miles Waggener, author of Phoenix Suites and Sky Harbor
From the book:
Narcissism has been forcing itself
Into my awareness again: the title
Of a new collection of witty poems;
An old biker who sits in his recliner
And rattles on till he runs out of gas;
The ex-public-man who’s turned
His proclivity for pontification
On his cat and soon-to-be ex-wife.
Narcissism is not to be confused
With narcolepsy, what one
Wouldn’t mind being afflicted with
In the presence of a tried and true-
Blue narcissist who can’t shut it down.
And here you are at the altar,
The trough, the stanza—what better
Career for an “N-man” than poet?
The poet needs no one else
To carry on a conversation,
Confident their tongue ala pen can
Handle the weight of all worthwhile
And burdensome questions,
Garnished with an endless supply
Of worthless answers and analyses.
At least they are quiet about it—
Their know-it-all riffs in print—
Unless you buy them a drink
Or three, turn up the volume,
Sit back and listen. Oh yes,
The drunken poet can silence
Even the soberest Narcissus.
Booze—that egalitarian solution—
Makes narcissists of us all. But
To his or her credit, shit-faced
Or stoned, the poet must zip-it,
Zone-out long enough to steal
Your life, your story, your tics
And dreams . . . to write down what
He fears could be his last poem.
The Imitation Blues
is a 104 page hand-stitched paper book with spine. $16.00