The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: Tarantula Season and Other Poems, Db Jonas

Tarantula Season and Other Poems

Db Jonas

Emerging from the busy onrush of today's published verse, the eager torrent of language that comprises contemporary poetry in the US, Tarantula Season, a first collection by the New Mexico poet DB Jonas, solicits attention to quieter pleasures, to the increasingly exotic virtues of exacting craft and contemplation. From its position outside the mainstream narratives of our confessional age, Tarantula Season draws us into the complex interweavings of its lyrical web and, managing somehow to change the conversation that dominates today's welter of media spaces, offers the possibility of new narratives concerning creativity, thinking, nature, and life itself.

Comprising nearly 200 pages of verse, this volume transports the reader across an astonishing range of natural landscapes, cultural environments and historical timeframes, all of which operate as "dislocations," to use this poet's vocabulary, obliging us to see our own lives differently, open ourselves to diversity, and understand our identities not as stable, isolate foundations, but as exposures and vulnerabilities, flesh-and-blood responses to the solicitations of the incommensurate, to the other of ourselves, to all that lies outside our skin.

Tarantula Season's poems are grouped under five rubrics. Starting with Questions of Place, poems that examine the mysterious rapport of the individual and its environment, a rapport both fugitive and formative, we are led by a slender narrative thread into the interior of the collection. Under a Hurrying Sky, the second grouping, explores the dynamics of uprootedness, the perpetual motion of living creatures, the inescapable significance of our being always on the way. Intimations, the poems at the heart of this collection, contemplate the paradoxes of our interiority, the presumably private contours of individual identity, as habitations of an alterity, the haunting evidence of a foreignness that has taken up residence in what should be the inviolate precincts of the self. While Vivid Vicinities, the fourth grouping in this book, transports us into the realm of visual and musical expression, Parts of Speech, its final group of poems, examines the curious recursive practice of composition in rhythmic and musical speech, the irresistible cadences and compulsions of journeying and song.

Each lyric in this rich volume presents us with evidence, at once familiar and enigmatic, of the way our lived experience escapes the facile categories of conventional logic. As readers, we emerge from the winding galleries of this collection blinking into the sunlight, perhaps a little less certain of our footing, but somehow less concerned about uncertainty. We just may find that we emerge somehow changed.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Finishing Line Press
  • Publish Date: Nov 10th, 2023
  • Pages: 196
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 0.45in - 0.65lb
  • EAN: 9798888384015
  • Categories: American - GeneralSubjects & Themes - Animals & NatureNature

About the Author

Jonas, D. B.: - DB Jonas is an orchardist living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. Born in California, raised in Japan and Mexico, he studied philosophy and literature at the Universities of California and Padova, and earned postgraduate degrees at Princeton and Yale. Following his retirement from a long career in business and the sciences, he returned to the practice of poetry. His work has been widely published in poetry journals throughout the US, UK, Europe and Israel. Tarantula Season is his first collection of poetry.
Praise for this book
Addressing us in a voice at once thoroughly contemporary and curiously ancient, the poetry of Tarantula Season transports us across landscapes, cultures and art-forms bewildering in their variety but unified by the recurring themes of journeying and loss, alterity and time, and the grandeur of the natural world. The lyrical and intellectual sophistication of these poems accomplishes the promise of all important art by reintroducing us to the luminous richness of the world while encountering the inconvenient stranger always present at the heart of the familiar.

-Alain Toumayan, The University of Notre Dame

In the tradition of Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens, DB Jonas has constructed a soaring architecture in verse. Though grounded in the Mountain Southwest landscape with its coachwhips, redtail hawks, and Autumn's "winy odors of decay," in Tarantula Season we also meet with coastal frigate birds and mountain men, step into Giacometti's studio, find Orpheus in the underworld, read an unwritten letter from Nietzsche, visit medieval Spain, third century China and 17th century Salem, and overhear a lonely teenager whistling in the stairwell. His poetry invites us to join this "noisy empire of boundless flight."

-Joel Van Valin, Publisher of Whistling Shade and author of The White Forest

DB Jonas wields a rare granularity of intention in the crafting of poems that effortlessly pursue narrative, visual, and sonic expression. New rewards await the careful eye with each journey from cover to cover of Tarantula Season. We are invited to linger in close reading yet are always carried forward by the sweep and logic of these carefully crafted verses.

-Christopher Fields, Editor of Neologism Poetry Journal

In this stunning first collection of poetry, DB Jonas takes the reader on a multisensory journey into the unknown. Diverse folkloric and cultural inspirations, a foundation of scientific rigour, and a resolute materialism expressed in paradoxically spiritual language, are deftly woven into a holistic view of the world that offers readers a generous and bountiful way in which we all might hope to live.

-Sam Illingworth, Edinburgh Napier University, Founding Editor of Consilience Poetry Journal

Tarantula Season introduces us to a thickly populated world of literature, philosophy, art, and questions of belief, all beautifully distilled into lyrical meditations and memorable lyrics such as "Angel," "Sens unique," "Augenblick" and the collection's title poem. Steeped in the European intellectual tradition, taking inspiration from broadly diverse cultural sources, DB Jonas remains firmly rooted in rugged American landscapes, always leaving his readers with a redemptive sense of "the slow heat / of living."

-Kevin Hart, The University of Virginia, author of Lands of Likeness