Eric Baus reads at the Ogden Saturday, March 19

Eric Baus lulls the reader into a kind of synesthetic, surreal state—hands become blind, articles become defined objects—there is no limit to his language. With lines so elegantly executed, you almost forget how complex they are. The world of his poems feels nostalgic, rural, and at times innocent, but never mundane, and almost always haunting.

Baus has written two books of poetry, The To Sound (Verse Press, 2004) and in 2009, Tuned Droves (Octopus Books), in addition to multiple chapbooks. He is in no rush, and the ride his poems take you on is a pleasant, scenic one indeed, if not with sinister stops along the way (from “The Continuous Corner”):

Miss said I should not speak because a bee is clearing its

wings. This made an image, for a time. And if I did, I would

wake up without a throat.

Baus has mastered the juxtaposition of images; he lures the reader into the challenging content of his poems, and then occasionally rips his/her throat out. There is no shortage of characters involved; sometimes they are named and sometimes just referred to by pronouns, or the generic “a man” or “a woman.” Where he brings the reader with these characters is a separate question entirely, although he keeps his realm grounded with natural and familial elements. Everything is alive and has a voice, from “the city” to “the hills” to “not-doctors” and “child-flowers.”

His poetry often seems to operate in series or sequence, like one continous lyric. His language, although fragmented at times, is always melodic, and just when it has the reader nice and comfortable, it unleashes paralyzing imagery, like in “The Sudden Sun”:

When a boy’s mouth collapses into itself, tiny flames release from his

limbs. Although this is a small flash, he is startled by the sudden


Check out this dark and blurry video of Baus reading “The To Sound,” and be sure to see him read and sign his books this Saturday, March 19, at the Ogden Museum. 3:30 pm, FREE and open to the public, sponsored by the University of New Orleans English Club and UNO Student Government. Great way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon, no? And did we mention it’s free?

More info on Eric Baus here, and for info on the reading click here.