JOHNNY BARANSKI: CONVICTS SHOOT THE BREEZE
ISBN 1 893823 11 3
[+ postage, 57c USA; 76c Canada; $2.55 RoW]
cheques payable to "Lenore Hutton"
JOHNNY BARANSKI: JUST A STONE'S THROW
c/o Johnny Baranski
3308 N. Terry Street
checks to Johnny Baranski
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This page last updated: 13th October 2008.
|JOHNNY BARANSKI: CONVICTS SHOOT THE BREEZE|
This is a beautifully produced 20 page A6 pamphlet. The haiku aside, I was especially impressed by Diana Bower's densely framed block prints being only slightly larger than the haiku they illustrated, thus heightening the sense of containment.
The author's mind, though, not so confined. Johnny Baranski did time in Snohomish County Jail for nuclear weapons protest. What brought men there though is quickly put to one side.
After a strip search old inmates, new inmates in blue prison garbThereafter in this booklet Johnny Baranski manages to convey the slowness of prison time, simply by telling of the huge importance of small events.
Starting a new month in Snohomish County Jail; same old teabag Moonlit spider web weaving cell bar to cell barCome the end, like the author, you yearn for release. And you've only done 20 pages.
|reviewer: Sam Smith|
|JOHNNY BARANSKI: JUST A STONE'S THROW|
Carefully slip off the red paper band that is wrapped around this floppy-disk-sized package, and when opened unfold the strip of paper it contains.
One side gives all the usual publisher's information and tells you that:
Johnny Baranski's prison experiences are largely the result of his actions against war and nuclear weapons.Both the cover of the collection and the red band carry a drawing of a headstone bearing the number 14302, the significance of which only becomes apparent when on the second side you read the ten haiku, one of which says:
in the prison graveyard just as he was in life — convict 14302The title of the collection is contained in another poem:
road to freedom just a stone's throw beyond the prison graveyardThese are intensely moving poems, encased in one of the most delightful settings I have ever seen.
|reviewer: John Francis Haines|