Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest: Poems

Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest Poems B H Fairchild s memory systems are the collective vision of America s despairing dreamers failed baseball players oil field laborers a surrealist priest college boys at a burlesque theater the las

  • Title: Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest: Poems
  • Author: B.H. Fairchild
  • ISBN: 9780393325669
  • Page: 303
  • Format: Paperback
  • B H Fairchild s memory systems are the collective vision of America s despairing dreamers failed baseball players, oil field laborers, a surrealist priest, college boys at a burlesque theater, the last remaining cast members of The Wizard of Oz Looming over all is the fact and the mystery of our continued renewal.

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      Published :2019-09-01T20:35:27+00:00

    About “B.H. Fairchild

    • B.H. Fairchild

      B H Fairchild, the author of several acclaimed poetry collections, has been a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the William Carlos Williams Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award He lives in Claremont, California.

    973 thoughts on “Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest: Poems

    • To me this is a magically nostalgic rendering of growing up in the fifties and early sixties. Life and learning had a distinctly different feel. Everything hit harder. These poems beautifully portray the sense of innocence and wonder that pervaded this period in time. The resulting poetry is heartbreakingly beautifulrlornrreal


    • To be honest, I have no idea how I came across this book. Was it the title that caught my eye, or had I seen a friend mark it as "to read" online? Either way, I'm thrilled it passed into my life. The collection is full of beauty and delves into the worlds of blue collar life, masculinity, the ebb and flow of life in the Midwest. I find writing about poetry collections to be difficult. It's a shotgun blast of poems and ideas, some of which are similar, but mostly they vary to a degree that it's i [...]


    • Reads like the voiceover of a Terrence Malick film. That's a compliment.Sherwood Anderson and James Wright (maybe some Philip Levine, too) are probably the closest literary analogues, however, and Fairchild more than measures up. Fairchild's line is so natural, so common, yet so taut and tempered.


    • The title (not necessarily the title poem, mind you) is my favorite thing about this very strange collection. Fairchild is more fixated on particular images than beautiful phrasing, although there is some of that. But overall it leaves me with no strong feelings and no particular favorite poems. Still-that title! "Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest"--it's a spectacular promise that isn't quite fulfilled. Read for FYSP 128 Fall 2013.


    • I thought this book was just fantastic. The collection seemed to really work as a whole. These are plain-spoken, narrative poems with a level of incredible detail that add up to so much by the end of each individual poem, and certainly by the end of the collection. Reminds me of James Wright and also of the barn photographs of William Eggleston. Could read this again and again, and would like to read more of Fairchild.


    • I had the privilege of hearing Fairchild read a few weeks ago, so I reread this book with new appreciation. His poems are worth many readings. This collection offers good variety. Most poems deliver his strong, nitty-gritty voice about Midwestern farm life. I suffer with the future poet too far from bookstores and libraries. The people he writes about have little money and few prospects, but are either strong enough or quirky enough for leading rolls in literature. Every good poet takes whatever [...]


    • I found myself experiencing a whirlwind of thoughts, images, and memories as I read these poems. Sometimes the poems were as much prose as they were verse, but oh--the imagery carried me away! Easy to see why this book won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Here's an excerpt from the final poem, titled " The Memory Palace":"Out back in the welding shop where men were gods, Vulcans in black helmets, and the blaze of cutting torches hurled onto the ceiling the gigantic shadows you watched as [...]



    • Favorite poems are - The Big Band: Liberal Kansas Summer of 1955, Hearing Parker the First Time, The Death of a Psychic, History, Luck, A Roman Grave, Weather Report, The Blue Buick: a narrative, Three Poems by Roy Eldridge Garcia, A Wall Map of Paris, A Photograph of the Titanic, A Starlit Night, At the Cafe de Flore, and At Omaha Beach.


    • Fairchild's combination of controlled free verse, cultured allusiveness, and working-class sensibility communicates with me directly, in a way that few other poets do. The connection goes deeper still, though; apparently, the poet, like this reader, "hunger[s] always for things seen in the light of everything else, and the light is endless." (118) That hunger, that light, was made starkly manifest yesterday, when I read aloud "The Blue Buick: A Narrative" (the long-form memorative meditation at [...]


    • the opening poem is downright fantastic.After "The Art of the Lathe" I became a fan, and this book, which follows that one, seems at first to be a continuation of many of its themes, at times hitting on some truly unforgettable poems and at other times wandering around in somebody-should-have-edited-this territory. The book makes you think about how a traditional collection of poetry is not really about anything but the themes which accidentally drift through the poet's consciousness, but the ti [...]


    • Middle America is kind of a spooky place. If all the gritty poetry and photography is to be believed, it is constantly on the brink of falling out of the present into an apocalyptic timelessness of lost glory and liminal existence. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that it always appears to have just done so. At least that's how it looks from out on the west coast.I like how this book handles the experience of life on the plains from so many perspectives, weaving them together in a way [...]


    • This 2003 offering from crusty Texan B. H. Fairchild goes straight to the top shelf of contemporary American verse. Fairchild's voice effortlessly combines the lyrical with the gritty, marrying a Westerner's laconic fatalism to the inchoate yearnings of the true romantic. Lonesome plains, deserted roads, tall tales, cars, jazz, baseball, liquor, sex…Early Occult is a fever dream of a lost America, the one that fell between the armrests of a beer-stained movie theater in Topeka, Kansas circa 19 [...]


    • Moving from prose poems to poetic prose to verse and more, but settled, perfectly carved out of memories of baseball players and failed artists and rock and roll and teenagers in overturned cars, mechanics and rigs and embedded in great plains and prairies, B.H. Fairchild has written a work that feels current, nostalgic and ageless all at once. EARLY OCCULT MEMORY SYSTEMS OF THE LOWER MIDWEST, a title I wanted to read before I knew anything about it, is densely pack and fits like a loose garment [...]


    • "The letter L, that narrow waisted, small breasted Audry Hepburn of consonants" B.H. Fairchild is in love with the sound of words, and this entire book is as much fun to read out loud as the first page of "Lolita" (Yes that Nebokov book is more about the English language than the characters). The subject matter is very manly: oil rigs, Fords, and dust. All used to paint a self portrait that is the most satisfying book I have read in a long time.


    • Masterful. Fairchild balances personal exploration with a sweeping consideration of the geography of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, in a language that is simultaneously accessible and strikingly beautiful. This is everything American poetry could be, should be, in its looking outward from the biographical stuff of one Midwestern life. "The Blue Buick: A Narrative" is one of the finest long poems I have ever read. This book is rewarding at every turn.


    • I think that this is a wonderful collection of poems, one of the consistently stongest that I have read in years. Fairchild has a wonderful ability to evoke the power and drama of memory, and the mixed blessings of youth. He also is very good a describing both the beauty and dreariness of the High Plains, a part of the world that I love. Among the many great poems, I particularly liked "Rave On" and "The Blue Buick: A Narrative".


    • Many of these poems are about Kansas, his father's machine shop, baseball, jazz and the power of memory, Fairchild's usual subjects, well-handled as usual, but he experiments, successfully, with a 28-page narrative poem about a (fictional, apparently) mentor of his youth.


    • I think this is accessible for those who believe they don't enjoy poetry. It is beautiful work that speaks with the reader, tells them a story and asks them to remember. It is not poetry written only for other poets.


    • Some great poetry here. I am sure it will find its way into my sermons. The best poet I have read in a long time, then again, I haven't read poets in a long time. Regardless, Fairchild is a joy to read.



    • It just might tie Frank O'Hara's Complete Poems for my favorite book of poetry. If you have the opportunity to see Fairchild read, do yourself the favor of taking it.



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