Monday, August 17, 2009


Simply put, Tom Curry is one of my favorite poets. His collection of poetry 10 is one of my earliest collaborations, and it remains one of my favorites. Tom is one of the veteran members of the Waiting 4 The Bus Poetry Collective, and it is my privilege to bring his poetry to broader audiences by producing this slim volume of poetry. 10 is still in its first edition; however, I am pleased to say that it is now in it's second printing.

Tom is an unrepentant iconoclast, continually honing his unique blend of philosophical hair splitting tempered with uncompromising and unapologetic bohemian rancor. His poetry is primarily concerned with the realm of thought, doggedly wrestling with those grand ideas that lie at the center of most things; however, these are not dry philosophical treatises. He approaches thought the way a painter approaches a blank canvas, carefully distilling the rushing tableau of ideas into planes and intersecting lines, form, space and proportion. Like a painter, Tom chooses his vantage point and his palette carefully in order to illuminate the barest sliver of what is possible in order to hint at what might otherwise be overwhelmingly incomprehensible.

There is a stunning
and beauty in the inner workings
of nature that
human eyes have never seen

hydrogen atoms
joining forces with oxygen
in the primordial soup

the Double Helix
unwinding itself in a delicate life-giving dance

parallel lines intersecting at
impossibly distant
horizons in Euclidian planes

the building blocks of logic
and reason
revealed only by the rare insight and
deft hands of those few

exceptional people
generous enough to share them with us

Antoine von Leeuwenhoek grinding
his lenses Gustav Eiffel
playing with tinker toys Louis Bleriot making
gossamer wings
out of canvas and twigs

and then there is Tom Curry
showing us the
simplicity, elegance and beauty
lurking right under our

own noses just beyond the limits
of our own perception
and it is a
beautiful thing to behold.

© 2009 Matthew S. Barton

There is a frantic quality to Tom Curry’s ravings and an unrelenting rage bubbling up from deep recesses of frustration and disgust; however, what is most remarkable about 10 is not the driving sense of urgency steeped into every page. Rather, it is the pervasive sense of understatement: his deft use of Achem's razor. In the end, what is most striking about 10 is not the grand scope of Tom Curry's vision; but rather it is his uncanny reticence, his economy of words and his unsparing need to stick to the point. In spite of everything, a man of very few words.

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