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Black Velvet Elvis

Black Velvet Elvis: Set for release on 28 October, 2006 is a 96 pages book by John Black und J. D. Black entitled ”Black Velvet Elvis” (ISBN: 0889842779).

Synopsis from the publisher: ”In this brilliant and unusual first book of poems, J. D. Black salutes The King not only with the occasional electric guitar but with stranger and more delicate melodies as well, a few strummed out on the dulcimer, others twanged along the nerves. Black reveals himself as a master of difficult forms extending from rondeaux and villanelles to mischievous haiku. But it would be mistaken to see him merely as a skilled traditionalist.

Amid the high polish of the poems rough surprises abound. The menacing redneck Len surfaces in several ‘vignettes’, his beery but robust visage scarcely contained by the strict sonnets through which he elbows. In these sly poems, Len, resplendent in his white Cadillac or cursing the ‘sumbitch step daddy’ of his squeeze, contrasts sharply with the sad diminished figure of Elvis, moping in a Quebec ‘Gas-Bar de la Nuit’.

Black moves expertly from witty light verse to elegies as graceful as they are moving. In ‘Last Train Out’ the sense of loss of a Holocaust survivor is evoked through an abandoned stamp album. In ‘Canis Lupus’, the wolf hidden inside the dog is unleashed. This is a dazzling collection of superb craft and subtle mischief by a poet whose work has for too long remained a private delight.”

Source: Elvis Club Berlin

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