Breakfast at Minerva’s

This zine is most interesting as a character study. Flip to the back and you’ll find a photo of the poet: a shirtless middle-aged man in a tie-dyed sarong and New Balance sneakers, jauntily smiling on a street corner while wearing some kind of elaborate hat. From the subject matter of the poems contained here, I inevitably start to try and sketch him out — West Coast recovering drug addict with a strong bent towards community activism. (The man is a regular streaker and host of naked poetry readings–even streaking an Andy Warhol gallery show!) Rajala announces himself as a “pirate in the city,” just seeking to run free “like every other wild thing” in “Wild Thing,” and positions himself overall as a cheeky free spirit, wanting to run for the forested hills but getting caught up in all the trappings of the city. He’s so earnest on these pages that it’s difficult not to engage, despite the heavy-handed writing. I keep returning in my head to the back photo, where he’s sweetly smiling like he’s beckoning you over to have a chat. When talking about this zine to a friend, my most succinct summary of my thoughts about it was “I don’t really like these poems, but I just want to know what this guy’s deal is!” (Sarah Pinder)

Zine, Daniel Rajala, mtnpoet2002@yahoo.com

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