By Barbara Ann Branca
Welcome to the poems of Barbara Ann Branca, a world of egg creme and fries, absinthe and apparitions. An irresistible, rollicking trip that takes us from Vets Highway to Dang Nang, and from Bensonhurst to the Pueblo Bonito and back. Branca’s poems are instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever heard her in performance- indelible moments retold in a signature musical style and punctuated by gourd-rattle and a smile.
The settings are specific and real. The sights and sounds are dizzying- particularly when she takes us in a detour from the social and cultural to her beloved seashore, singing with birds, swaying with eelgrass, one with the wrack line of oysters, scallops, mussels and moon snails big as plates.
There’s a rich sensuous immediacy to it all, with scents of lipstick, incense sticks and bazooka bubble gum bubbling to the surface. And throughout, there’s Branca’s rich rhythmic rightness, bouncing from samba to jitterbug to Chuck Berry and Jan and Dean.
Thees are iconic remembrances, playfully retold, unforgettable once heard, a cast of characters and moments that while personal to the author, ask us to recall what it means to be one ‘of the tribe.’
Publisher: Purple Sage (January 1, 2006)
Paperback: 173 pages