The Wake-Up Blast
The Wake-Up Blast, a brand new collection of Hall Gardner’s poetry is an engaged and committed outcry that comes to the reader from the different continents of this world. Indeed, the collection which is truly international in its spirit and its general lyrical mood speaks mainly to the peoples of Gardner’s home country “where white is ostracized for speaking to white/ where black is ostracized for speaking to white”, or rather he was. Now, with the present state of affairs an American, (Tom Sawyer ‘led astray from devouring Pacman’) will not be ashamed of his inability to speak and act as a free soul and a citizen of this world, but he had to fight against the dark forces in order to get there.
Paperback: 152 Pages
Gardner’s prophetic and imaginative book of poetry speaks of this quest for Holy American, of his plight to reassert his pioneer spirit in the 21st century as it speaks of many other things. Of basic justice and basic prejudice in the entire world, of an overwhelming presence of the human humaine, of the beggars “without legs pleading for change”, of death in China, of penalty for poets, of politicians and the “odds you came alive”.
The poet’s song or a jazz-riff transcends masterfully an era that we might simply call ‘cold war’, or an ecological threat if you like, for his words are set against any form of tyranny or oppression. In such capacity they stand proudly as the pillars which inherited the tradition of the previous “Blast” generation- a linguistic playfulness decorating the true meaning and awareness of things as such.
—Nina Zivancevic—Poet, teacher, translator, bilingual, former assistant to Allen Ginsberg,15 books of poetry in Serbian, English, French—the last one is Sous le Signe de Cyber Cybele, (Harmattan, Paris, 2009)—lives and works at la Nouvelle Sorbonne in Paris
Hall Gardner’s The Wake Up Blast is truly explosive; it ignites the paper it is written on with its poetic opposition to war, military build-up, terrorism and the garbled hype of religious doomsday prophets. It is an important work in its “counter-visionary” depictions of plutonium powered American sub-urbia down to the impoverished slums, favelasand shanty towns of the developed and developing worlds… Should be read by all for the experience of Gardner’s “culture shock and awe”…
— Taslima Nasrin