Michael C Ford’s Review of Robert Peter’s Poetry Album
by Michael C Ford
My initial thought was to decline an invitation to comment on these 49 spoken word tracks. As an associate producer at Hen House Studios, during the gestation period of this recorded document, there might have been some danger that the subjective nature of my prose would take on the PR complexion of a pinch of low grade salt. That being said, however, as someone who studied the important facets of the creative process with Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Patchen and, later, with the poet and translator Jack Hirschman at UCLA, I have better chance of identifying with what’s concerned the Robert Peters compendium of five decades of literary contributions than, perhaps, most anyone. And I/m really talking about gifts which comprise his prolific catalogue, and how his many works have been assimilated into realms of the World Culture.
One has only to listen to Peters, on tracks like Father, Son, Cousin, Country-Western Band or Home-Made Saw-Rig. With a combination of rhapsody and lament he invites us to experience the rural landscapes, as well as the interior terrain of the years of his Wisconsin youth. Then, as with cuts like Memory Loss In A Parkinglot, we’re hearing him go onward, into an undeniable poetic maturity. It should be noted that executive producer Harlan Steinberger is responsible for the competently composed, engaging and thoroughly complimentary musical backdrop.
As a hyphenated American poet-playwright- essayist-critical analyst, Peters has been continuously, acknowledged as an author of evocative, imperious perceptions, generally, involved with the whole of international literature.
Now, this 2009 set of aural genetic poetics, in their entirety, are every bit the perfect recorded companion to a Peters volume of print entitled Familial Love and other Misfortunes: certainly an indicative collection produced by Red Hen Press, in 1999, and still available via their website.
Since, 1974, I/ve been aware that Robert Peters, as an artist who, through his differentiable talent, possessing both an illustrative image mind and the sense of dynamics to interpret character lives in one-man performances of his staged monologues, has proven time and time again all deserved accolades for the wide and “evocative” nature, on so many levels, down the long years of his transcendent career.
The voice on this CD/MP3 reminds one of how grateful so many of us should be that Peters has never allowed his dark, poetic vision to lose sight of his writer/s integrity. The scalpel he’s used to probe into the, occasionally, vile body of University-sanctioned poetry never got dull, Nor did he ever drop the sutures covering the wounds of warrior poets he, more than once, went out of his way to encourage and defend.
He accomplished his literary goals without chasing after tainted poetry prizes, so often achieved by too many of the mainstream clones beating drums for the Yuppie poets of distinction. It now, seems to be a perfect time, indeed, to put Robert Peters between your ears, harvesting your very own hay and evoking any necessary personal transportation container to oblivion.