By Dan Carpenter
Restoration Press, $12
Thousands of us think we know Carpenter's voice through his columns for The Indianapolis Star
(it was my privilege to edit a collection of them for Carpenter's book, Hard Pieces
, in 1993). This sense of familiarity makes Carpenter's first collection of poems, More Than I Could See
even more revelatory. The 40 pieces included here, as the title indicates, demonstrate a fully earned ability to go beyond the supposed facts of the circumstances they describe in an effort to break down barriers between subject and object, the writer and his material. This is a brave book by a poet willing to take us into his confidence; whose rhythms and attention to detail make the felt precariousness of his situation a 20th century guy seeking traction in a 21st century city a shared experience. That this book is published by local Restoration Press, the occasional but no-less passionate project of Tim Harmon and Tom Orr, is an added cause for celebration.