Backmasking: Poems

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Product Details
$8.95  $8.32
Texas Review Press
Publish Date
5.62 X 8.44 X 0.16 inches | 0.16 pounds

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About the Author
HAROLD WHIT WILLIAMS, who lives in Austin, Texas, is guitarist for the critically acclaimed rock band Cotton Mather, whose album Kontiki has been rated at number 26 of the Top 200 Power Pop Albums of all time. Williams' poems have appeared in Natural Bridge, Chattahoochee Review, Oxford American, Cold Mountain Review, Carolina Quarterly, and Tulane Review.
"Backmasking is muscular and musical, at once dulcet and raucous. In poems that wind backward through a life in music, and then on back into memories of childhood, (the author's) attention to sound, sense, and soul are all in evidence here. The result is that readers are not faced with hidden messages, but allowed to experience a life in reverse, one in which music, both thematically and structurally, pulses. These poems are clear-eyed, beautiful, sometimes humorous, always profound."
--Will Wright, Final Judge
"What a great book this is! Through wisdom and wit, through traditional form and music, through careful arrangement, a book of honesty and originality emerges whole. It is also a book of poignancy, some kind of faith, and clear wariness for superstition, cheap emotionalism, and the general status quo. This book is a history, personal and familial, but always aware of the a larger human context. The humor stings, the honesty chastens, and the srrows ring solemnly true in these inventive and fully realized poems. This is abook of poetry that requires and rewards reading over and over again. It sa book to listen to, backwards or forwards, the listening is an absolute delight."
--Maurice Manning
"In the resonant world of these poems, God is as preposterous as he is in this world and the best response to the stench of a sweaty revival in the Deep South is to retreat inward armed with pawnship guitars and Beatles records -- to shrug, tune up, and admire the birds and girls outside your window with Zen resignation/celebration. Williams, a gray bearded cult guitary icon, rewinds dusty cassette tapes of 1980s smalltown Alabama, brushes a mullet behind the pumply ears of youth, and listens wistfully: drums are "primitive wind chimes made of baby bones," guitars are "smooth as Sally's inner thighs," bass notes rumble " like God's own indigestion." For Williams, "There is no god but this moment." and these moments-ephemeral, tragicomic, confounding -- are as distilled and perceptive as anything Han Shan, Basho, Lip O, or Ryokan put to paper before their worlds vanished with them."
--Scott Alexander Jones, author of Carpe Demons