I had the pleasure of hearing Paul Fericano read poems new and old at the Artists’ Union Gallery last night. Paul’s is a distinct turn of mind–able to sweep up humor, irony, and deep feeling in a winning trifecta. Paul takes the materials of popular culture–from Elizabeth Taylor to The Three Stooges–and makes of them something transcendent. It is precisely in the moment I am laughing in a Paul Fericano poem that my guard is down. It is then when Paul slips in a modicum of pathos, reminding me of how complex it is to be human, how, as Virginia Woolf puts it in Mrs. Dalloway, “dangerous it is to live even just one day.” These are poems that read like the messages in a bottle that might be written by the last sane man on Earth, when everyone else has gone mad.
I leave you with a poem that is fast becoming one of Paul’s most popular–read in Ojai at an event I was sadly unable to attend. I am grateful to whomever filmed it.