Yesterday while at the UUCEP Holiday Bazaar, I picked up a copy of an acquaintance’s newest book, Tongue-tied to the Border. The author, Gene Keller, is a wonderful, likeable and fluffy bearded man with an ever present twinkle in his eye. Yes, it’s getting very close to Christmas and, no, I’m sorry to say he is not Santa! Though reading his work made me feel as though my Christmas had come early.
Gene’s book reminds me of how I love the smell of the desert with a summer’s rain freshly upon it, the splash of the dust and the crack of the electric permeating the sky with a monsoon just arrived. This is what Tongue-tied brings to thoughts and senses.
If you have never lived in the desert, this book is a must. And if you have, this book is an ethereal fantasy of childhood memories as well as a social commentary on the shared lives of our sister cities, Juarez and El Paso.
Now I must begin from page one again. I have to relish in the poems, reading them slowly and examining the contextual meanings as I feel, contemplate and digest the words of this borderlander.
“Gene Keller is a full-spectrum poet: a maker of word artifacts, a singer, a storyteller.” (From back book jacket.)
A performance by Gene at our sanctuary in April 2012:
Copies of Tongue-tied to the Border are available for purchase on Amazon.com, or at the Hal Marcus Gallery in El Paso.
Tongue-tied to the Border, by Gene Keller, Copyright 2012 by Gene Keller, Street of Trees Projects (SOTP 1112), 225 Arboles, El Paso TX 79932.