by Mike Parker
"In his fourth collection of poetry, Parker is a disc jockey spinning fossil records in defense of conscious science and common sense. His no-nonsense attitude gets to the gravel and grit of political and environmental issues, and at the same time glides in the tenderness of love for the children of his mountain community and the awe and reverence he feels towards things imbued with natural power and beauty, whether it be a woman or a mountain or losing a lifelong friend to cancer. "
~ David Anthony Martin
author of Span, Deepening the Map and Bijoux
In several activist poems Parker puts the fist back in pacifist, becoming a ballsy bubble-hashed buddhistic bean-spiller to the shameless sprawl of the military
industrial complex, from the creeping resurgence of fascist corporate oligarchy and the quietly quarantined contaminants at the Rocky Flats nuclear superfund site to outcroppings of viruses such as Ebola, Zika, xenophobia and bigotry. Tackling contemporary issues such as war refugees, immigration, climate change, Parker unleashes a barrage of rhythmic rants in a punk poetic whack-a-mole response to the conflagration of hate wherever it pops up with the sheer fire, flare and brevity of an iron-nickel meteor shower.
With sitting meditation and frequent mountaineering as his personal path of heart & hailstones, Mike Parker continues to be a mentor to working poets and a voice for the working poor.
Mike Parker was born in the brass mill town of Waterbury Connecticut in 1944. D’Spare Press published three collections of his poetry: Don’t Fall Off the Mountain, Wallflower Sutra, and Walking on Water in a Razorblade Breeze, and he has three live poetry CDs. He sang in the band Ballistic Kisses, recording two albums on Beggars Banquet Records, Total Access and Wet Moments. He served two terms of Artist in Residence for the Ward Public Library and was the recipient of the Neodata Literary Fellowship from the Boulder County Arts Alliance. He lives with his wife the poet Mary Johnston Parker and daughter Frannie in the town of Ward Colorado on the edge of the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
"Michael Parker’s Kimono Mountain transports the reader to remote Colorado mountains and introduces a sexy spring rhubarb, a stalker cougar, and the well-worn snowshoes of life. He harkens back to NYC days in a tragic story about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and a chance encounter with fellow conscientious objector Muhammad Ali. Parker’s epic love poem for his wife and daughter, How to Make Your Own Kimono, is heart warmer. But Mike always returns to his roots, his core, reminding us, that 'treason is in season.' Plutonium pollution hides under the spotless mountain, 'homeless hole in America’s shoe' and there’s an 'OxyMoron in the White House.' He never lets the peace and isolation of the mountains distract him from the struggle against economic disparity and injustice,'rich get richer, poor almost get paid.' ”
~ Emily Armstrong
"In Kimono Mountain Poems, one quickly sees Mike, the far-reaching humble poet pushing his gift into stronger and sharper cadences, beats and zen-jester-wit. The wide curragh of themes which his pen encapsulates: breath, equality, dismay, loss, friendship, grief, earth-glory, home – all reach kindredship with Mike’s taut lines of verse. Like currachs tied tightly at the dock, Mike’s poems are bound by his artistic sensibilities and his deeply human connection to all that is embedded in his heart. I am a better man for having read these offerings."
~ Brian Buckley,
Co-Proprietor of Innisfeee Poetry
Bookstore & Café, Boulder, CO.
"Seething with life, Kimono Mountain grabs poetry by the throat and shakes words till they tumble out with lust, beauty and clear eyed honesty. Michael Parker writes about nature, politics and love with passionate simplicity and a complicated desire that you feel in your body as well as your heart."
~ Pat Ivers