John Triticas poetry extends from that place
where context meets cortex in the joyous practice
of observing outside. With the compression of haiku, his poems
reveal, with gestural clarity, the sensual lushness of the world in
its ongoing stream. The cosmos flower bleeds burgundy into light/
Driest July in years/ August, now September, torrential
Ego suffused, if not replaced, by a loving magnanimity, we feel the
poets own continuous temptation to kiss a dahlia or locate
the intersection of possible and actual. And in this saturation
and crossroads, location happens as a tension existing inside the music
of language. The metamorphic beauties of what words areconcrete
qualities as well as aphoristic playfulness, where layers and layers
of detail add up, meaningfully, into a larger emotion of steadfast pleasure.
These are poems, indeed, from the garden of real life: car alarm, compost,
leaking roofs, Chianti, marigolds, equinox and the myriad particularities
of motion, pattern and aroma. Tritica paints his residency
in the high desert landscape using invisible truths gathered from bees
feeding in the datura/ just popped open. The pollen thick
on their legs stated precisely, the basic surrealism of sunlight
and flowers known.
Recalling at times the densely textured
orchestrations of Hart Crane, Robert Duncan, or Clark Coolidge, Triticas
poetry ultimately stakes out its own territory, adding something of
high value to the 20th-century tradition of experimental lyricism.
Reverence pervades this engagement in visual alphabet, replete
with the Tao of high desert, discovered, restated (Primrose can
take the whole/ the desert over, Desert can overtake the
whole/ beds primrose; To overtake the whole primrose
bed/ the desert flees/ a dense scrutiny). The liberal, beautiful
facts for the senses to touch and equate to form splayed punctuation
of human intention (Woke with a car alarm scraping my ears).
Residence means breathing among, thus in context, and sometimes with
eyes (closed). John Tritica is fluent in miracles often unnoticed. He
watches the smells as the colors are sung (sing themselves). And form
nourishment that punctuates a life. Part of residing is worshipping
blends of the holy and common (How rain records its alphabet),
aware that they switch roles and places (birds comma the slight
wind; mushrooms kiss the rotted trees). This work
finds nourishment by juxtaposing human habit and its sister industry
of bees, branches, rain evolving into spirit toward Stillness,
an intense act.
Sheila E. Murphy
John Tritica studied at the University of California, San Diego, Lund
University in Sweden, and Miami University, which culminated in a Ph.D.
from the University of New Mexico and a dissertation on Kenneth Rexroth.
While in Sweden, he met the poet Niklas Törnlund whose work he
translatedAll Things Measure Time (published by The Landlocked
Press.) Triticas reviews, essays, and poems have been published
extensively in literary magazines for years. He lives with his family