literature; prose poetry; jazz;
About the Book: Eros in Sanskrit is a collection
of lyrics and meditations on love written over the last thirty years.
Kirpal Gordon playfully unites the prose poem to the swinging rhythms
of jazz and the montage technique of modern fiction.
Widely published and anthologized, these lines cover a range of territories geographical and historical, musical and metaphysical. Gordon weaves a range of themes—from personal identity, loss, language and beauty to social injustice and the pulse of the street—into a larger participation in the transformative magic of human love.
Don't miss the companion CD: The book's companion CD, Speak-Spake-Spoke, delivers eleven of these lyrical gems wed to the American songbook and performed by Gordon and the exuberant Claire Daly Band.
Acclaim for Eros in Sanskrit Lyrics & Meditations: 2007–1977
Eros in Sanskrit brings to us a riveting selection of Gordon's
work over the past thirty years. I am struck again by their freshness,
the breadth (and breath) of the poetry, the incantatory sweep of the
hard truths these lines bear witness to.
Cynthia Hogue, author of The Incognito Body
Hip, savvy, and inventive, Kirpal Gordon’s prose joins a poetry
of the street to the music of the spheres. In subjects ranging from
pure jazz lyrics, to philosophical and mythic speculations and revisions,
to condemnations of social injustice, to meditations on love, Gordon
writes with all five senses awake and in play. When you read him you’ll
recognize what’s missing in everything else.
Greg Boyd, author of The Nambuli Papers
On first reading these poems, you wonder if you haven’t entered
a very private world with its own private language. But the further
you go into this world the more you realize that you are experiencing
a very public place of desire and love, of the search for the meaning
of the smallest things in life, and the quest to understand and experience
Darrah Cloud, author of The Stick Wife
Kirpal Gordon is the Huck Finn of New York City. The kid with the goods,
he’ll show you how stories are really made and how each one will
remind you of someplace where you have been, or wish to be. Language
driven writing that makes music of those molecules, and for once and
for all, has you dancing in an empty, quiet room with a book in your
hand. The one you’re holding.
Bob Arnold, author of Once in Vermont
Kirpal Gordon’s lines are locomotion and lullaby. In conversation
with Kabir and Kerouac, Rilke, Billie Holiday and Kali Ma, they sing
‘the uncontainable yahoo of lightning.’ Whether travelling
roads named Paradise Square or the Inca Trail or walking the length
of our sorrow, Gordon gives us work that pays our back rent. He teaches
us that tenderness is an inside job.
Jeanne Clark, author of Ohio Blue Tips
A poet with unstoppable chops, Kirpal Gordon is a spewer of jewels
with the baddest ear in the hemisphere & an unbelievably well-hung
mother tongue. He’s not just whistlin’ or kindlin’
Dixie: Gordon’s got a reach equal to his grasp, & both exceed
the legal limit. He knows language, in the Biblical sense, but he’s
also slept with jazz & death & self-deception & the bone-deep
desolation created by such euphemistic entities as the ‘criminal
justice system.’ Whirling precise tenderness & eloquent messiness
in his devotional blender, he never forgets that ‘the whole world
is feminine,’ that ‘the naked god lives.’ His gaze
may waver; his words never blink. His singing is lucid & essential.
He sings what the rest of us merely think.
Mikhail Horowitz, word jazz artist, The Blues of the Birth
Eros in Sanskrit: A Review
by William Seaton for Home Planet News
Prose poetry, from Baudelaire and Rimbaud, Mallarmé and Gertrude Stein, through Bly and Russell Edson, has tended toward the surreal and Kirpal Gordon's Eros in Sanskrit nods to that tradition (hearing, for instance "screams within glass jars" in "Hetaera Collects the Fragments of the Splintered Glass"). And Gordon is an unusually literate poet, with an authentically catholic education. Among the poets to whom he pays explicit tribute are Kabir, Rilke, Pound, and Kerouac, and he pays hommage as well to Duke Ellington and those noble Billies, Strayhorn and Holiday.