Winter Be My Shield
by James Maughn
Poetry. "Robert Creeley wrote about poems that make rites of passage actual, poems that speak a primary language. In KATA, James Maughn speaks a primary language. He is inventing a world--and this beautiful book enacts a wry and patient intelligence, embodies physical grace. In these lines you will hear fullness of representation, and a luminous consciousness"--Joseph Lease. "James Maughn's visionary book embodies the Zen bone-dance of the world, disassembling and reassembling itself through perpetual ruin and renewal, as 'fire/balancing/at the break.' As in a Karate forms sequence, where the end of one movement and the beginning of the next are indistinguishable, here words transfer their energies as hinge joints, pivots, holding and releasing to achieve Maughn's rhapsodic language of motion--of the flight of Zeno's arrow or lion leaping a chasm--motion inseparable from the forms it inhabits. These poems are as disciplined as the katas which inspired them, and likewise as spontaneous and free, 'an orchestra of glasswork birds set on gears'--a remarkable accomplishment!"--Chad Sweeney.