Kendra Steiner Editions

October 25, 2008

Scot Young reviews Chavez/Sweet “Next Exit: Nine” (KSE #112)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:11 am

Released a week ago, NEXT EXIT: NINE is already getting reviews (and great reader feedback!!!). Here’s a nice piece from poet Scot Young’s “Midwest Poet” blog:

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Review of Next Exit: Nine by  MK Chavez and John Sweet
By Scot Young

As much as I like the work of MK Chavez and John Sweet I dislike collaborations even more.  As a child   my  report cards were always checked—does not play well with others—the handwriting has always been on the wall.  I have never been a fan of sharing.  In grad school  I preferred the solo act too and resisted the cohort thing.  As an adult and still carrying this trait, I could not see how publishing a collaborative chap could work. I believe art is solitary, that the creative process works better alone–in isolation.  I mean really, how can it gel?  And what is the point?  Give me a bottle of Two Buck Chuck’s and close the door.  So when I closed the door I found this.

Next  Exit: Nine is the latest chap book by MK Chavez and John Sweet.  It is a look at America from two poets–Sweet in New York and Chavez in California. As depicted on the cover, it is a look through an ornate gate at an open dumpster.  This collection takes you on a road trip from San Quentin to a roadside café in Nevada to a gas station in New York.

From springs, new york:

and we are tenderly blessed
for the sins we have
yet to commit,
and we have nothing to
break but promises

It is a collaborative trip to the land of melancholy, sadness and pain.  It is documentation of place, of America written uniquely enough in one voice from these two exceptional poets.

From point san quentin, california:

but we don’t cry and for different reasons. he can’t
be seen to have the weakness
of a woman. and I don’t cry
because it’s dangerous to be
a woman. in this foreign land
we call home, a teardrop
gets tattooed at the corner
of your eye to let the world
know that you don’t
have to go far to fight a war

This limited run of the Next Exit chap books always sells out fast.  This one with the combination of these two fabulous poets won’t last long either. At $4.00 postage paid it is a given.  And oh yeah, if you look real close in the dumpster on the cover, that is me sitting by myself in the corner eating a bit of crow and reading Next Exit: Nine.

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Please go to http://midwestpoet.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/a-review-of-next-exit-nine-by-mk-chavez-and-john-sweet/ , where the piece appears in its original context alongside many interesting poems, articles, reviews, and announcements. Mr. Young has an excellent blog, and there’s a good sampling of his poetry available there too…

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