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REVIEW: the miles left over by Eliet Brookes

by Vince Bushell “The world is large and all is lost Though I have the longing for awareness And this is why I suffer the future Beckoning like all the countries I’ve never seen” And so begins Eliet Brookes’ poem, Of Heat and Light on her CD, the miles left over. Whether you call it poetry, spoken word or performance art, this is a well-done CD. Taken in a piece at a time or listened to all at a sitting, it works. Eliet’s voice is pleasing to the ear and matches perfectly with the soundscaping provided by a litany of Riverwesters and friends. Paul Setser, Paul (the fly) Lawson, Richard Pinney, The Aimless Blades, and Mariah Myerson all provide music for the poems. Tequila Dreams adds a restaurant background soundtrack to a number of readers you might recognize, including Frank Chandek, Paul Cotter, Rhonda Greenhaw Wood, Rustle of Luv, Voot Warnings, and more. My first reaction as the CD began with spatial sounds, cricket chirps, gentle piano, and dreamy voice, was a memory of happy times listening to Laurie Anderson. It seems that poets and the spoken word are alive and well around here. In Rooms, Eliet says, “Poetry mother tongue you have taught me.” Although the general tone of the miles left over is serious, Eliet’s presentation is not without humor: “I meant to write home but lost my stamp somewhere along the highway, And if the string of such things were retrieved today, I’d be a millionaire on E-Bay.” The words to Night Song for Street Children can be read here. Read it and enjoy. Get a copy of the CD and listen to this same piece, and discover how the human voice, in this case Eamonn O’Neill’s with the accompaniment of Paul Setser, adds a soul-piercing dimension to Eliet’s words. Usyoumewei or Eliet’s mantra, sung by Mariah Myerson, I can only say, brings it all together at the end. Imemine. the miles left over is available at Woodland Pattern. CD release parties will be held Aug. 27 at Quarters and Sept. 8 at Thai Joe’s. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 8 – August 2003