These are our book-length collections that are produced into audiobooks. We work closely with our authors to ensure that the final product is as close to their vision as possible while maintaining the spirit of Golden Walkman. Hope you enjoy!
In The House of Nice People by Alex Mattingly
Nightjars by David aLLEN SULLIVAN
Nightjars by David Allen Sullivan
June 11, 2021 // $8 // Recited by the author and Aisha Charves
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Comments by 2018 (Audio)Chapbook Contest Judge, Rebecca Hart Olander:
“Nightjars” is the first section of a long narrative poem about the Iraq War. And how could it be otherwise than long, than epic? And, how could it be otherwise than various in voice and terrain, to illustrate the length and reach of this war, on and in landscapes, across continents, and through the hearts and minds of some of the people involved.
The poem takes sand as its leitmotif and “lens,” how sand coats and hides, how it “grits up” daily life, shifts under feet, and makes it hard to find purchase. The layers of the poem, like sand, like time, are both mingled together and chiseled down in this piece. Akin to war, sand is unable to be kept from crevices, is mixed with human remains and human carnage, and is a ruthless equalizer. This, even as one character attempts to categorize different specimens of sand inside jars he keeps on display behind a bar.
The shape of “Nightjars” is one in which disparate stories are interwoven, from Saddam Hussein, to “Ink,” an Iraqi interpreter, to Bill, an American soldier, and to many other related human threads. The poet plays with time as an hourglass unleashed, taking us back and forth through years to get a glimpse of what led to the Iraq War and what was wrought by it.
Beyond the unifying metaphor of sand, the poem also explores the myriad meanings of family, country, grief, memory, names, the nameless, history, graves, gardens, and grace.
David Allen Sullivan //
David Allen Sullivan is poet laureate of Santa Cruz County, California. His books include: Strong-Armed Angels, Every Seed of the Pomegranate, Bombs Have Not Breakfasted Yet (a book of co-translation with Abbas Kadhim from the Arabic of Iraqi Adnan Al-Sayegh), and Black Ice. He won the Mary Ballard Chapbook poetry prize for Take Wing, his book of poems about the year he spent as a Fulbright lecturer in China, Seed Shell Ash, is forthcoming from Salmon Press, and Black Butterflies Over Baghdad, will be published by The Word Works. Nightjars--a long narrative poem about the friendship between an Iraqi interpreter and a US soldier—is searching for a home, as is The Painted Word, an anthology of poems about the paintings of Bosch and Bruegel he edited with his art historian mother who died recently. He teaches at Cabrillo College, where he edits the Porter Gulch Review with his students, and lives in Santa Cruz with his family.
the Lunatic's Left-Hand Man by Eliot Khalil Wilson
The Lunatic's Left-Hand Man by Eliot Khalil Wilson
January 1, 2019 // $8 // Recited by the author
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Comments by 2017 (Audio)Chapbook Contest Judge, Simeon Berry:
The Lunatic’s Left-Hand Man is a manic, orgiastic act of democratic imagination, unleashing a torrent of American destinies that would curdle the milk in Walt Whitman’s breakfast cereal. Alternating dream-like encounters with celebrity sin-eaters and delirious litanies of all the ways the speaker will transmogrify into someone better, Eliot Khalil Wilson manages to navigate the toxic rapids of our culture like a madman in a kitchen sink. These poems are a cyclone of avowals and disavowals, oscillating between the anodyne normalcy of assorted winter squash and the leafy siege engine of “a wind-activated giant pornographic boxwood topiary.”
Too often, poetry is a poverty economy, miserly parceling out images with an air of sanctimonious benevolence, but these poems explode like a game of 52-pick-up, their sweat smelling like drug money, fueled by black-market Ukrainian steroids and specious Russian stimulants, weeping like a fountain when the breadsticks arrive.
There’s enough kinetic energy here to shake a naval destroyer to pieces, and Wilson grabs any weapon at hand, sweating alchemical grease that turns (in one memorable sequence) “piccolos to pork swords, pencils to pikestaffs, pizzles to plowshares….”
Yet these poems also vibrate at lower seismic frequencies, discovering hidden storage container corridors “littered with deer hunting magazines and Playboys” and examining the hunting habits of those who bury dead angels under the azaleas, hang them up in carports, or lock them in the deep freezer in the basement with the bass filets.
Inside the confetti weather of empty promises we all make to ourselves, Wilson can discern the truly dangerous microbes, such as the pathology of Midwestern stoicism that makes one “white, really white, all the way white… bitter and pale like a flurry of aspirin… emot[ing] like a frozen stump.”
Like a Siberian shaman, Wilson has been dismembered into metaphysical sinews and put back together by the same shadowy animals from the self that took him apart in the first place, and we are lucky enough to bear witness to his dazzling reconstitution.