Steven Farmer
Medieval

ISBN 1-928650-00-7
$9.00
128 pages

 

 

 

"The real deal, Steven Farmer's poetry has been read and listened to closely with delight by other California poets for at least 17 years. A major book is long, long overdue. He has a superb Western ear, a classic sense of line and stanza, a subtle mind that knows precisely what it sees and understands (and, even more rare, the ability to articulate that which it cannot) and a wry wit that makes it very difficult indeed to read these pages without a smile. The balance and turns in these poems makes me dizzy with envy."

--Ron Silliman


"Medieval, the latest of Steven Farmer's five books, is his finest. The title poem is the curiously beautiful engine under the hood. Every note is tender and deviant, each fragment riveted to the next, in a score of participant fear mysteriously pastoral in its leaking mix of diction-landscape. This extraordinary poet presents unique dissections of the social with a lift (and laugh) to the gallows, addresses his understanders with words for loss and eyes our strobing hearts."

--Melanie Neilson



"When our own dark age flashes its klieg lights onto the private only to undress the public: 'FATE FASHION PLAZA' . . . when this Boke of Kervyng guides us: 'sauce doesn't go in boats anymore' . . . 'I don't know what kind of an/ angel would fall asleep in his food dish' . . . when our own no fat baldaquin fallen moment gets documented, lit, challenged, wallpapered, embraced . . . when the poetic line doesn't break, but crumbles, and reintegrates into the 'golem/oven room/rune emission' . . . when the lyric poem rings the bottom of its community well, it sounds like the moving and relevant poems in Steve Farmer's Medieval."

--Robert Fitterman



"Steve Farmer's Medieval is a bifocal proscription for the ideologically near-sighted. In an integrated poem reaching nearly the century mark of pages, it works as a kind of conveyer machine, alternately transporting the reader to familiar and alienated sites; where production takes place, where the mind and body are rehabilitated and where practice doesn't create perfection but just a well-tuned drone. The burden for Medieval, in strict terms, is historic pro-bono work. The case being built from start to finish is a difficult one, to prove absolutely that there is a socio-political system that seeks to integrate Capital by way of passive/aggressive machinations that haunt and taunt in turn. Thus an inmate of Angola State Penitentiary can say with just clarity of the reinstated "chain-gang" work details that 'It's like being back on the plantation.' In other words, Medieval. Farmer has written about a key period of history, the now, a present that can't quite let go of the past, if the past is defined as an accumulated position, a present which identifies itself as a future, at a steady march. But in the meantime, the appearance of culture and distant long weekends will have to do for the over-worked and `underwhelmed.'

--Hung Q. Tu



Steven Farmer was born in San Diego in 1958. He is also the author of Coracle, World of Shields, and two chapbooks, Tone Ward and Standing Water. After many years in the restaurant business, he now works as a technical writer in the Bay Area.