Review: Vishnu: The Train Ride to You

Amanda Oaks
8 pages
1 3/4” x 2”
Poems-For-All #709
24th Street Irregular Press
1008 24th St
Sacramento, California 95816 USA
Free, plus postage
Review originally published on 8/13/09

This might be the cutest, tiniest chapbook ever, and I am absolutely in love. In love, I tell you. Weighing in at half the size of a business card, this tiny book contains one poem between the most precious little covers ever. Did I mention that I am in love?

The poem, itself, is sweet, a love poem to someone it seems the author has not seen in a while, loaded in metaphors and swinging and swaying like crying willows and gentle rains. The love is real, dealing with personal human moments that are important to Amanda, a talented craftswoman, writing personally, yet universally:

[ … ] i
could never craft
without you [ … ]

But the real gem here is the pocket size of this book, and moreover, the idea behind it. The back cover tells it all:

Poems-For-All, scattered around town, on buses, trains, restrooms, coffee shops, left along with the tip; stuffed in a stranger’s back pocket. Whatever. Wherever.

That’s right, the free little books are scattered all over for the pure joy of spreading poetry to a world that desperately needs it. How lovely. The only problem, of course, is that the books are just too cute to pass on. No stranger or bartender or bus rider is going to get mine. I’m keeping it. Sorry, world, get your own damn poetry.