I've enjoyed reading William Minor's poems for nearly 40 years. His memoir of a marriage is
honest and touching. His imagined "other life"---the second part of the book---is equally engaging, also embracing marriage: "my metaphor."
- Carolyn Kizer
In recent American literature, there is nothing at all like this somber, rollicking, double-headed chronicle of one set of linked lives lived out in the overlap of the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Al Young
from his Introduction
to Some Grand Dust [read full text]
William Minor had been married (to the same woman!) for thirty-eight years when he started his collection of short pieces entitled Our Peasant Life. Minor spares neither wit nor compassion when he explores marriage, love, household, family, and neighbors in this charming work.
In Moker, Minor turns his life around, imagining that he hadn't pursued the woman he would love the rest of his life, or the passion for music that has kept him focussed. His alter ego, Moker, pads about an empty apartment in bare
feet, divorced (he didn't find the right woman!), imagines a daughter he
never had, and finds peace through acceptance and humor.
Minor's skillfully crafted poems weave a story of life, longing, and loving in the years beyond youth. Some Grand Dust is an extraordinary portrait of
ordinary lives. (Release date: August, 2002. ISBN: 0-9661452-4-0. US$12.00. OUT OF PRINT.)
Chatoyant no longer fulfills retail orders. To order this book, order directly from the author.
Opening with a series of forty-two short prose poems, passionate vignettes, William Minor steps outside himself and 'sees' how and why he has come to stand where he does. 'What is marriage?' the poet asks. 'What exactly does it mean to be 'husband' or 'wife'?' At once humorous, plainspoken and romantic, the poems celebrate forty years of marriage, mark and offer praise to the poet's wife, his muse, his ever-faithful, wonderfully wise "snoring goddess...my all-too-human myth."
"The real miracle in life," he writes, "is having the courage to be perfectly, and I mean perfectly, ordinary."
All praise to Bill Minor! Our Peasant Life is the work of an eminently sane and courageous man.
- Robert Sward
author of "A Much-Married Man"
Some Grand Dust News:
Experience Bill Minor's Mortality Suite now on J.J.Webb's cool Beau Blue page. You can get a good sense of Bill's many talents here.
To learn more about Bill and his other work, visit his homepage.
For readings, please visit our Events Page.
Bill has released a CD of songs based on poems from his book For Women Missing or Dead. You can hear AND see one of the songs now at Poems That Go.
Press the above book thumbnail
to view a large version of the cover.
MOKER at SIX O'CLOCK
Dusk. He sits beside a window filled
with shrunken roses. He is trying to decide
which was the last to die, for summer's gone,
autumn come to a place without seasons.
He can feel it in his bones and nose.
October's punishment. November's first kind frost.
They hardly seem to matter here, nor the fact he wears
trousers that resemble Baghdad pajamas,
an ancient cardigan sweater and no shoes---all
without seasonal import, as far as Moker knows,
who knows but one thing, obsessed as always
with the eternal in the elemental.
just went out. Nothing works.
His phonograph hums above and beyond
the Mozart it promised to deliver.
A trap just snapped in the kitchen,
crushing the mouse it promised to bring home.
Trapped in her jeans, a girl strides by.
She's promised nothing 'that is not performed.'
Dusk. His wife is at Jazzercise,
shaping her body to the size of a mouse.
She'll want her drink when she gets home,
the one he has pledged to deliver.
he tells himself, is not a rose outside the window,
trapped in autumn, lured by cheese
and peanut butter, the false portent of life
beyond ourselves, beyond our own.
Love is what happens or doesn't happen.
He'll fix a drink for himself, as promised,
and think of what the two of them will do,
together, for that dead mouse.
© William Minor, 2002
"These are superbly crafted verses of
life, longing, loving, family, and neighbors --- both real and imagined.
"Moker is marvelous, a real character and lives beyond the author's shadow
persona. 'Some Grand Dust' makes marriage into a formidable metaphor
that challenges every new couple to love beyond the usual sentimental films
and advertisements. This is a book that will have a life of its own as it
breaks through pain and reflection into the sunlight of praise and hope.
Perhaps something could be arranged so it's passed out at every wedding
so that newlyweds can become aware of the depth of experience that is
really involved in a true marriage."
"In the two long sequences that make up Some Grand Dust, Bill Minor's usual passion and directness are infused first with a nuanced tenderness when he reflects on his wife of 38 years, and second with a meditative wit when he examines an aging man's thoughts about life. The result is a book of sensitivity and depth that, along with Minor's exuberance for the things of this world, make Some Grand Dust grand reading not to be missed."
This is an honest, warm, and beautifully written tribute to the survival of love, no matter what. A book to treasure and pass
on to your friends.
Some Grand Dust, although it makes no such claims, is a primer on how,
despite our "pure pride and pettiness of spirit," to make every day of our
lives a celebration. And it does so with some really fine poetry.
In the first series of poems from 'Some Grand Dust,' noted author, poet,
musician and artist Bill Minor takes love poetry to a new level. The poetry
becomes a series of tender musings on his long marriage to his wife,
captures the real essense of a loving relationship, one in which the day to
day becomes a celebration. Each word is carefully chosen, and the poems have
a quiet strength that become more vibrant with each reading. The second half
of the book comes from the voice of the author's alter-ego, and has a
freshness and subtle humor that are delightful to read again and again. This
is, quite simply, poetry as it should be written.
- Read a lovely review by The Constant Reader of Some Grand Dust. To find it, scroll down past the review of Bill's friend Robert Sward's wonderful book, Rosicrucian in the Basement.
- Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts has written an in-depth review of Some Grand Dust for caesura, The Journal of
Poetry Center San José.