Jack Galmitz is a talented poet, one of those few male souls willing today to
venture below the surface of mere description into a now and then painted with
truth plumbed from the depths of personal experience and feeling, albeit
painful, revealing, and possibly embarrassing.
In his introduction, Galmitz postulates:
"The natural world reemerges in haiku from its free-fall into use value.
Lumber once again becomes colonnades of trees; the sea is no longer a resort,
but is the dreamer of humanity; pesticides are replaced by amorous insects
couched on crisp beds of leaves; shrimp are no longer delicacies, but the most
delicate creatures alive. Value in haiku is once again assigned to what is
conventionally valueless. It might be said that haiku saves the world from
being seen as a store. And, herein, lies its ties to the beginnings of
thought, to the imagination that sought to understand its world for the first time."
Yes, there are those who will disagree with this assessment of haiku, of
course, but it is his honesty, the ability to step outside the box that causes
one to listen, coupled with a genuineness of heart and spirit. Take for
instance this haiku. Galmitz takes us into his psyche, a Dali-esque dreamscape
Falling off to sleep . . .
At the bottom of the sea,
I hear the whales sing
Heralding from New York, Galmitz has done his homework. His poetry shows
reverence and respect for those who gave us haiku centuries ago. Using an
economy of words, he cuts to the chase, exposing the essence of whatever it is
he is addressing in his haiku. Defying the so-called rules of haiku
posited by well meaning, albeit, old hat publishers and aging poets who
popularized the genre in America, Galmitz infuses into many of his poems,
personal feelings and emotion:
I love your eyes
The way they look away:
A mountain stream
A May night -
My wife receives me inside
Of her darkened house
A tryst in June:
As I descend the stairs
How deep the blue
Shadows of minnows
Fleeing from my fingers
Where the heart reaches
Galmitz is a dreamer, unwilling to disconnect with the inner child as many
think they have to when they reach adulthood.
Even at sixty
The woods are magical:
"The world now constrained by definition is smashed and the quickened tremor
of the living world begins to reveal itself once more."
You shake your coat . . .
The world starts over
Jack Galmitz's new book of haiku, Driftwood,
contains some of the finest haiku I've read in a long time. My only
criticism is with the book's design. The large, bold faced type used for the
haiku is the antithesis of the art-form it presents, detracting from the beauty
that is this man's poetry.