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Enough Said: A Poetry Dialogue Between Father & Son

Enough Said is an exchange of poems between a father, Michael Rattee who now lives in Tucson, with his son, Kiev Rattee, who is raising three daughters in Vermont. On the one hand, you have two men who have entered independent adulthood, writing about their landscapes – emotional, imagined and real. On the other you have the relationship of a father speaking to his son, and the son posing questions for the father to answer. its best moments, Enough Said shows two excellent writers, men who share a profound bond, exploring the shared realities of their lives – how they look at the sky, for instance, what they discover in solitude. Kiev’s poem “A Gift” ends:

I am trying
to tell you
what I cannot even
tell myself.

The father responds with “Men With Secrets.” That poem begins:

Our faults like San Andreas
go ignored until we’re shaken
hard enough to damage those we love...

The son’s admission of sensation-without-comprehension brings on the father’s confession, for all men, of our enduring failings. It’s a stunning moment really, made possible by the experiment of the book, this dialogue, for which I know no precedent.

Enough Said is a compelling, experimental work of art. Here we have a son looking back and telling his father what he knows about truth. And we have a father, directive, foreboding, looking his son in the eye and telling him what he knows about the world.

Listen to the end of Michael’s poem “Rain”; for rich and memorable poetry like this, I recommend this book.

I believe love is what settled us both
where we can feel the rain
get a taste for its words
and listen until we are drenched and weary
standing on our islands
ready for the seasons to change us.

--Mark Wagner

Michael Rattee writes to his son " ...and our current version/ of the story seems right/ days when a person can act/ like Sisyphus on vacation/ and for a time much too short/ stop pushing at the globe/ believe me the hill/ will still be there..." to which Kiev replies, "Something in me knew that the sky/ holds answers to all questions,/ so I went to the desert where the/ sky starts just above the ground/ and seems to build with no ceiling." This brief sample from Enough Said shows many of the qualities found in this remarkable and unusual collection of poetry between a father and his son: plain language grapples with universal themes, a delicate merger of personal perspectives with universal concerns and the use of cool wit to leaven a vision where the father knows " ...the sky is full of tricks... " and the son accepts the fact that (there's) " ...a paper god on fire somewhere up there." I highly recommend this beautifully produced book by Adastra Press for all those who appreciate the kind of fine poetry that probes close enough to the bone to awaken all the senses and leaves the reader reconsidering much that he had taken for granted.

--Burgess Needle