Brick Road Poetry Press

poetry made to entertain, amuse, and edify

The mission of Brick Road Poetry Press is to publish and promote poetry that entertains, amuses, edifies, and surprises a wide audience of appreciative readers.  We are not qualified to judge who deserves to be published, so we concentrate on publishing what we enjoy. Our preference is for poetry geared toward dramatizing the human experience in language rich with sensory image and metaphor, recognizing that poetry can be, at one and the same time, both familiar as the perspiration of daily labor and as outrageous as a carnival sideshow.

Lotus Buffet by Rupert Fike

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Lotus Buffet by Rupert Fike

15.95

Paperback: 116 pages

Publisher: Brick Road Poetry Press (August 12, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0984100571

ISBN-13: 978-0984100576

Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces

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Like Jack Kerouac Rupert Fike is mad to talk.  A Rupert Fike poem isn't small talk though. Fike wants to be saved, wants to live. One of my favorites in this volume is “Toast.” “In the name of all that’s toast it must go,” he writes, as he struggles to put the diode-eye out of a machine that, Cyclops-like, watches over our lives. Armed with hammer and nail, Fike is Everyman-Ulysses out for justice. But Fike also knows his limits. In the lovely last poem of this volume, the poet accepts a bittersweet truth he cannot change. The soul must seek another outlet as children outgrow the past. Like Fike–and Kerouac, too–we may love the beauty of “words, words, words stretched out, limitless,” though, in the end, poetry of this caliber leads us to understand when and why they must leave off, as well.

 —Stephen Bluestone

In Lotus Buffet, Rupert Fike gives us a roller coaster of a read. From the first section title—“Notes to Seymour’s Fat Lady”—to the final poem, “Faulkner, Jung and the 60 Cycle Hum,” we are caught in a warm onrush of words. Dig out your old bell-bottoms and settle in. Here it is, the whole, hopeful craziness of those times, generous as that “pigeon-feeding woman downtown,” that soup-kitchened, beaten-down woman, ”who with bread-crumb bestowing arms” stands in the late afternoon sun and “inhabits grace.”

 —Alice Friman

What happens when you cross a Southern raconteur with a Buddhist monk? You get Rupert Fike’s exhilarating poems that are part back porch storytelling and part Zen koan. He takes you around the world and back in time. Minor characters come alive—a Sunday School teacher who discusses St. Augustine and hell; the guys who repair Jack Kerouac’s battered typewriter; men in a pub who argue about the origin of guitar feedback. And in this mighty stew a world emerges that is so real that we experience it as if it were our own. Did I mention his brilliant mediation on toast? His story of the renegade Buddhist garbage collector? The man who sneaks a little bit of his dying mother’s morphine? This is a rich book—there’s a surprise on every page.

—Barbara Hamby