Monday, April 18, 2011

Tinfish Retro Chapbook #2: Adam Aitken's TONTO'S REVENGE

Available May 1. The second in a series of 12.

Tonto's Revenge,
composed of poems written by Adam Aitken during his term as Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Hawai`i-Manoa, is something of a Thai-Australian version of Ed Dorn's Gunslinger. The poet, masquerading sometimes as Tonto, sometimes as Charlie Chan, meets a Sheriff; they face off over everything from tourism to nostalgia to departmental hiring. Along the way, the poet meets the Rabbit Lady of Honolulu, laments the death of Danno (James MacArthur of the original Hawai`i 5-0), and gathers in many of Honolulu's voices off buses and from the city parks burgeoning with homeless persons. "You want to shout Fuck Tourism," Aitken writes, "but that would be nostalgic.”

Adam Aitken is a Thai-Australian living in Sydney, where he teaches Creative Writing. He was born in London and as a young child he was schooled in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. He has lived, worked and travelled widely through Asia and Europe, and was recently Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, Tinfish, Drunken Boat and Jacket. This is his fifth collection of poems.

from “The Day Danno Died (In memory of James MacArthur)"

The day Danno died

some old senators

and heroes of Pearl Harbour

last surviving ones

cried. They knew Danno

had done a lot for these islands.

The day Danno died

someone’s father entered

Harry’s Music Store

and bought his son

a Ukelele.

At Smiley’s Nails

someone mentioned in passing

that Danno had died.

Somehow, at Jimmy’s

Television Sales & Services

the owner thought

TV will never be the same,

now that Danno’s died.

Send $3 to Tinfish Press, 47-728 Hui Kelu Street #9, Kane`ohe, HI 96744 or order with credit card via (2checkout). Better yet, subscribe to the full series of 12 chapbooks we're putting out in 12 months, for $36! The first chapbook, Say Throne, by No`u Revilla, is still available for $3 or as part of a subscription. Each Retro Chapbook is designed by Eric Butler.

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