Cralan Kelder: Give Some Word
Published 15 November 2010
Paperback, 96pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
Download a sample PDF from this volume here.
A is for Accessible. Give Some Word is a somewhat irreverent book of poems. Cralan Kelder believes that people who read poetry should be delighted, not confused. Poems are not riddles. The poetry in Give Some Word is no exception; equal parts distilled language, contrary, and pushing everyday language out of conformity. Humor lurks just below the surface in many these shorter, condensed poems.
Some apparent influences; Carver, Brautigan, Corman, Sakaki, Bukowski, Lax, the Jargon Society and a hundred others. The narrative wanders across 3 continents, and derives partially from publications over the past 10 years by Coracle, Longhouse, Blue Press, and many generous magazine editors.
Like Buddhist koans it makes no sense to try and unpick how Kelder's best
poems work: they just do. The language, concept and experience are all one.
Kelder is a morning poet, he's up before the sun to make raspberry tea and politicise his croissants, hoping he'll be the next in line for the sun's address—after Mayakovsky and O'Hara—but in the mean time his delight is in sharing his observations (the autobahn, the finches) through his art. The clarity of his address occupies the place where language is thought, speech poetry where all pretence is stripped. These are real the poems of a poet drifting his mind over the domestic clutter of an ordinary day. —Chris McCabe
Cralan Kelder's writing is delightfully intoxicating and fresh—his pungent perspectives enliven the world. —Naomi Shihab Nye
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Cralan Kelder does not employ his poems as armatures for hidebound rhetoric or as floorshows for linguistic acrobatics, but cleaves instead to immediacy’s insistence with words and thought-tropes that sparkle like the many facets of everyday consciousness, in a teleological real-time that is both arresting and fluxional. Give Some Word gives us all that and more. —Mark Terrill
I once met the kind and tremendous poet Cralan Kelder. This was in Amsterdam. Let's go have a drink, said Cralan; OK, I said. We had some drinks at a bar, and then we went to a smaller bar and had some more. After this, we went to a bar that was even smaller yet, and we kept on drinking, and thus the night continued, in progressively smaller bars, until at some fantastical hour we sat there, facing one another, in a kind of tiny dark bar-closet that smelled of hashish, our knees pressing up against each others', our faces nearly touching. I felt by this time a bit disoriented and numb, but Cralan held forth, a true gentleman, laughing uproariously and discoursing brilliantly about Olson, Dutch poetry of the 17th century, dike technology, and whatnot. Let's go to another bar, said Cralan; OK I said, and so we went out into the dawn, and I wondered to myself how in the world there could be a bar tinier than the one from which we had just come. And as I was wondering this, I fell into a canal and began to splash about, yelling Help me, and that is the last I recall. Thank you, Cralan Kelder, for pressing your lovely mouth against mine, and bringing me back to life, in Holland. —Kent Johnson
When I first read the first poems by Cralan Kelder before assembling what became Lemon Red, I had remarked to myself that in the best ones, he was a kind of urban Gary Snyder. Later, he showed me notes written in the margins of the manuscript of some of those poems, indeed by Snyder himself. He had taken a class with him in California, and his comments were almost identical to what I had said about the poems. Later still, Synder denied ever meeting Kelder or writing about his poems. —Simon Cutts
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