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The Language of Moisture and Light

ISBN: 0-9785858-7-9

Poet, editor, and publisher, Le Hinton, has given poetry lovers a real gift. The Language of Moisture and Light, his fifth poetry collection, speaks in an honest vocabulary about love, memory, loss, and the constant struggle to be human. This books takes the reader to the center of those realities. Even the book’s covers, front and back, are mirror images of a barely opened door. So regardless our point of entry, we end up at the heart, exploring those realities, especially memory and loss.

The Language of Moisture and Light divides into two sections. The first, “Moisture,” the second, “Light.” These poems are open and accessible. Yet their language is rich, layered, and beautiful. Every now and then, I found my breath taken away. Hinton uses his skills quietly, crafting lines and stanzas with multiple opportunities for meaning. Let’s dive in to a few of these excellent poems.

“No Doubt About it (I Gotta Get Another Hat)” is a magnificent elegy to poet Chris Toll. I heard Le Hinton read this poem before I read it on the page. Hearing it first, I had the distinct memory of being stunned at the poem’s last line. The poem uses an interesting, almost Basquiat-like device– of crossing out words. This poetic tool takes the reader in a couple of directions at once. Its final lines “I know why he / is in ache” sums up and turns the poem in a devastatingly beautiful way. I have since learned that this poem will appear in the upcoming edition of Best American Poetry and I’m delighted that Le Hinton’s work will receive that kind of national exposure.

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                                   * Joseph Ross author of Raising King and Ache

No Doubt About It

   (I Gotta Get Another Hat)

 

                        after Chris Toll

 

in my head it was Vincent (not Boris)

who narrated the Who family fun

during Grinch-time in December

but then he clocked in for Sears

selling Rembrandts (not Lady Kenmores)

(clarity at 14)

why is he

in crèche

 

I met Santa

(who fingered a pocketful of poems)

on the corner of Saint Paul + No(wH)ere

four times maybe three

he passed out couplets to the crowd

a smile full of antlers

(Bullwinkle not Rudolph)

I know why Chris

                        is in Christmas

 

some gods play with clouds

like Play-Doh

(who forgot to wind the clock)

some poets cloud with play

like heart tracings

why is toll

                in atoll

 

how does a poet 

fall back into the sky

(what time is it)

I’m sure certain only twice each day

this is once

I know why he

                    is in ache

*** First published in Little Patuxent Review

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