What Looks Like An Elephant
What Looks Like An Elephant
Author: Edward Nudelman
Genre: Poetry, Trade Paper, 6X9
Publisher: Lummox Press (PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733-5301) www.lummoxpress.com
Publishing Date: April 2011
Watch Edward Nudelman read selections here or here
Voted second best Poetry Book
of the Year
by the Indie Lit Awards!!!
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The book contains over 80 poems dealing with ambiguities and paradoxes in experience, especially how impressions of certainty and doubt affect everyday life. Ed calls on influences in his vocation (he is a cancer research scientist) as well as child and adolescent memories, mixed in with some humor and poetic metaphor.
ABOUT EDWARD NUDELMAN
Edward Nudelmanís first book of poetry, "Night Fires," was a semifinalist for the Journal Award ("The Wheeler Prize) given by OSU Press in 2009. "Night Fires" was published by Pudding House Publications in 2009. "Casting the Nines," an anthology of nine poets with nine poems (PHP, 2009) honored Nudelman as one of nine selected poets contributing poems. He received a Pushcart Nomination in 2009. Some of his poems have been recently published in Chiron Review, Poets and Artists (Oranges and Sardines), Ampersand, Syntax, The Atlanta Review, OCHO, Mipoesias, Plainsongs, Tears in the Fence, fourW, Floating Bridge Press, The Orange Room Review, The Penwood Review, The White Leaf Review, Adagio Verse Quarterly, and others. Nudelman is a noted cancer research biologist with over 60 published papers in top-tier journals. He has published two widely read books on an American illustrator, Jessie Willcox Smith (Pelican Publishing, 1989, 1990). A native of Seattle, Nudelman is currently working and living just north of Boston with his wife, Susan, and their Golden Retriever, Sofie.
Edward Nudelmanís delicious use of math and science language and metaphors combined with his sense of humor and seemingly limitless curiosity; his capacity to surprise the reader with juxtapositions and acute observationsÖand the sheer loveliness of so many linesÖmake this a book to re-read, to share with friends and family, and to return to for inspiration, discovery, comfort, and fun.
Poet, independent editor, and former director of Alice James Books
I, too, was "blown away by it." For me this means that I was also astonished by the vivid and precise imagery, the tension between subjective human doubt and so-called 'objective' scientific certainty, as well as the depth of memories of extended consciousness over a lifetime, in Ed Nudelman's first full-length book, WHAT LOOKS LIKE AN ELEPHANT...
Here are a few poems from this volume...
An Element of Blank
thudding at your inner
ear, bellowing doubt.
Squeezed into a corner,
jaws clenched against
the hammer's dull pounding
Is that you,
or a laboratory mouse
running for the exit?
You can work with simple math,
but these infinite sets
and imaginary numbers,
these forays into the surreal.
Everything equates to zero.
Yet tonight, the pins
are in someone else's arm.
The cat purrs herself to sleep
and frogs fade into starry silence.
You breathe open rooms,
inhale limitless space
without grimace or wail.
Through a crack in my barricaded door, I can see
researchers lifting hands, exultant. They swarm around
a blinking machine, twiddling an instrument whose sole
purpose is to spew numbers in linear lines by the reams.
I should rejoice with them. How many, how long,
how perfect these number series appear. Dazzling
combinations and iterations for hypothetical models.
Soon theyíll try to persuade me; soon Iíll be told
nothing is something. Iíll be offered correlations
and compelling data and probably a few lyrics
from some deadhead song. I know they mean
well, swimming laps in the same choppy sea
of discovery Iím supposed to lead them through-
but right now another research project supersedes.
Iím filtering white noise, holing up and hunkering
down in my bunker, closing the door, and locking it.
A breach reveals a purplish bud
as pristine as the snow surrounding it.
Maybe it landed in August, or fell off
an iris gliding across four backyards.
It might have dropped from a birdís
feather or it could have been there all
along, beating its pretty regal chest
in the vast white jungle, just as you do
when only the impossible matters
and only the impossible happens.
On Saturday mornings
my wife sometimes drags
me along as a scout
on her thrift store forays.
And thereís one shop
that rises above the rest
to which Iím entreated
and bribed to accompany.
I donít know why. Iíve never
found anything there, though
Iíve made many suggestions,
all courteously snubbed.
Itís a big shop with plenty
of smiling helpers. Itís for
profit, though I canít figure
out how thatís possible.
Everythingís marked down
75% off, including single
spoons and forks, a bargain
at only a quarter each.
Near what appears to be
the back of the store
a huge white drape
partitions two rooms.
On my last visit
I resolved to break into
the hidden room to see
what treasures it held.
But I was cautioned
and gently pushed back
by a courteous teenager
in a Grateful Dead T-shirt.
Now I ask to tag
along whenever she goes,
positioning myself near cut
glass and the curtainís edge.
Iím just a disinterested party
looking for a bargain.
I try to look nonchalant.
I try not to sneeze.