Review of Nota Bene Eiswein by Eileen R. Tabios
Ms Tabios, short for intensely prolific, has written another volume entitled, Nota Bene Eiswein. In the first poem, “Poetry Criticism”, which is dedicated to Paul Auster, she writes, “Do poems cancel/ foolishness/ from questions?” This is a very valid question. Are should it be does serious poetry? But that is my question, not Ms Tabios. Foolishness does have a place in poetry and always will. What Ms Tabios is really talking about I believe are the questions. If you know the writing of Paul Auster you would know that this is the man’s writing.
In the poem “Bailar O Morir: A Poetics”, she writes “Once, I stepped/ into a/ story/ I thought belonged/ to me.” That in my personal opinion is what poetry is. Ms Tabios who is writing a novel at present would agree I suppose. Bailar O Morir: A Poetics is a poem about dance. Poetry is dancing around the subject sometimes then circling back around, but often beginning at the first beat, the first word.
This along with other books by Ms Tabios is a chance to see a prolific poem lay herself open, so you can get a glimpse of what she thinks and feels. I recommend you take that chance.