Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Cartes de Visite by Mark Valentine

Sad to say, but this small book of prose poems, Cartes de Visite (2019) by Mark Valentine, was a real disappointment, primarily because there is so little content spread out over many pages (including facing page translations into Portuguese, plus lots of white space). Really, there is less than seven pages of text to read in booklet of sixty-some pages.  The best writing is in the final item, titled "Clues":
Be attentive to the hints that hide behind the facade, sift and consider the glimmerings. Never to be daunted when the day is dull and the walls are silent. Knowing that another day, or dusk, or evening, will bring again clues. And perhaps in old bookshops find chance volumes long forgotten where one single phrase has been waiting to be rediscovered, a phrase whose meaning was hidden even to the one who wrote it.

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