Bits of Birth

Poems by Michael Pingarron

Iniquity Press / Vendetta Books

Introduction by David Cope. Dedicated to David Cope, my first major ear, and Bertha Sanchez, my love and wife. Bits of Birth copyright 1990 by Michael Pingarron. ISBN -1-877968-01-3. Cover photo by Sharon Guynup. Thanks to the editors of the following magazines where some of these poems first appeared: Ball Peen, Big Hammer, Big Scream, Black Swan Review, Lactuca, Linden Lane, Nada Poems, Passaic Review, Some, St. Mark’s Poetry Project Newsletter.

I first met Michael Pingarron years ago, at a party full of yakking poets and artists. He was recovering from a terrible accident, rebuilding his speech and cognitive functions by force of will. His speech was slow; he had to think lond and hard before completing a thought, and yet his ideas came, carefully worded – precise. The party swirled around us – drunken imitations of Shakespeare, arguments over politics, the secret language of the come-on – yet under all this, Michael slowly unraveled all he knew of Machado, Hernandez, Lorca, sharing his heart’s tradition with me, a student of these poetics. Later, when I first saw his writings, the surrealism struck me – I spotted elements of Neruda, intense and bottomless images like Lorca’s in Romancero Gitano. We talked about Lorca’s images, and he has said that Neruda showed him “how the inner self and outer worlds are merely sublime expressions of each other.” Mike has also mentioned Rilke, Vallejo, Whitman and Poe as influences, and has come back time and again to Jack Spicer, citing his brevity and tragic humor. Humor’s a keynote in Pingarro’s poems, too – they’re funny, even in his serious moments. You’ll find the decay of the green world here, the sadness of beauty passing forever, the injustices perpetrated by the rich and powerful, and those tender moments of love for another as well. These Bits of Birth “transform pain creatively.” and display Michael’s will to give this life purpose despite the suffering that is everywhere. David Cope, January 1989

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