Otherwise Elsewhere. . . The title is like reading an implied question. Filled with unwavering eyes, the cover art is abstract enough that you want to open it, if only because it feels like you are being stared at and are not sure what to expect. Or maybe because after staring back at the title (which is scrawled so diagonal across the cover, at first glance you may not even be sure if you read it right), you are thinking ‘where then?’ and ‘otherwise what?’ and hope you will get an answer.
“Otherwise elsewhere ? someone somewhere other than here ? the stable-hand for an equestrian team or the bodhisattva stretched out by the river or the sleepwalking knife-thrower. . .” ?pg 3
Whimsically reminiscent: the poems inside feel like a summer carnival. They highlight the simplicity of emotion as they tap into innocence, vulnerability, and certain strangeness. Poet David Rivard?s thoughts ride like waves of continuous prose that loop from the depths, to the shallow with considerable ease. He takes images we know well and splices them with philosophical meanderings to create something tactile.
In “Plural Happiness,” Rivard amplifies a peaceful summer day with description of curtains billowing and a dinner of peat-smoked scotch, fresh berries, cheese and baguette, and reflects on the accidental nature of happiness. “The Same Bourgeois Magic Wherever the Mailtrain Sets You Down” analyzes the idea of money, challenges those who don?t think it?s important, and questions us to think about why it is. The most masterful piece, titled “Forehead” is a love poem, which in a way denies itself as being a love poem by focusing on the safe closeness that is shared between two people, and not some idealized perfection.
Rivard?s poetry doesn?t attempt to answer life?s questions, instead it seems to pose its own and answer only that Otherwise Elsewhere is anywhere you want to be, whether it is reminiscing about childhood, analyzing religion and politics, or just sitting outside, scotch in hand, enjoying the moment exactly how it is.