KNOX COUNTY (KSE #132)
Photographs by Lena Ozuna
KNOX COUNTY is Doug Draime’s SEVENTH chapbook for Kendra Steiner Editions. Doug’s work has been appearing regularly in the underground/alternative/leftist press since the early 1970s, and I’ve been keeping clippings of his poems for at least 25 years. He is the perfect blend of zen calm and righteous anger, of the experimental and the plain spoken. The form for each Draime poem is unique and crafted to the needs of that particular piece. He’s the poetry equivalent of a pitcher with a deadly curveball. Truly, a west coast poetry legend—initially making his name in the late 60s and early 70s in L. A., and then relocating to Oregon in the early 80s.
KNOX COUNTY contains the finest pieces from a sequence of poems Doug recently composed set in the Southern Indiana of his boyhood and adolescence. Doug and I sifted through about three-dozen pieces to choose a diverse and hard-hitting and haunting cycle of poems that capture the fear, joy, confusion, education, and ecstacy of those days. It’s a world of confused soldiers returning from foreign wars, secret teenage bottles of blackberry brandy, surreal hospital experiences, rural flooding, Klan marches and lynchings, and the music of Bo Diddley providing hope of liberation and of a better life…someday, somewhere.
And Doug’s poems are complemented by the stark, atmospheric photography of 17-year-old San Antonio dynamo Lena Ozuna. Taken in Paint Rock, Texas (which Doug agreed worked well as Southern Indiana circa 1962), where many buildings and the city as a whole still look like something that was already old in the period when Doug set these poems (the late 40s through the early 60s), Lena’s photographs work with the poems to create a mood that’s so real you can almost taste the dirt streets and feel the boarded-up windows.
This is a powerful collection of brand-new material from an West Coast master that documents a little-known period in his life and an era long-gone (perhaps I should add, “thankfully long-gone”).
An edition of 72 hand-assembled, hand-numbered copies, of which 34 have already flown out the doors at KSE, so act soon.
Cost is $4.00 each or 3 for $10.00 (only one copy of any book per customer) postpaid in North America. Send a check (or well-concealed cash) made payable to Bill Shute, 14080 Nacogdoches Rd. #350, San Antonio, Texas, 78247. OR chapbooks are available to overseas readers DIRECT FROM KSE postpaid outside of North America for only $5 each. Overseas orders should write and request a paypal invoice for whatever you’d like.
Why not get the 3-for-10 deal and choose KNOX COUNTY as your second book. Here’s what’s available now from KSE:
#134, RONALD BAATZ, headlights from the otherside of the world ;
#135, BILL SHUTE, stereo action (sound library series, volume 42) ;
#130, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, odd years ;
#126, MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, grey rage (dyed) ;
#127, BRAD KOHLER, dog nights, dog days ;
#133, BILL SHUTE, this day without (sound library series, volume 41) ;
#131, BILL SHUTE, acres (sound library series, volume 40) ;
#129, MIRA HORVICH / BILL SHUTE, suspension ;
#119, A. J. KAUFMANN, satori in berlin (x-berg songs) ;
#122, LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL, still human ;
#125, BILL SHUTE, marking time ;
#116, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, next exit: ten ;
#34, STUART CRUTCHFIELD, shack simple (reprint).
Congratulations to Doug on another fine work and to Lena for the haunting photographs. And thanks again to KSE’s loyal readers/supporters/customers. KNOX COUNTY is the perfect poetry chapbook for the hot humid summer that’s already upon us..