Next to being burned in effigy, having my voice amplified or walking through a door marked PRIVATE, there’s nothing I enjoy more than reading new poetry by Rick Lupert. Next to that would have to be reading ‘old’ poetry by Rick Lupert, immediately followed by causing a scene at a funeral. Whenever I have the chance to travel great distances over bodies of water with ice floating on them, I always bring a collection of Lupert’s work. It isn’t just to pass the considerable time it takes to even find icebergs so you can fly over them, but to link my legacy with his. You see, I often fly great distances over bodies of water with ice floating on them and I expect one day to be killed by having done so once too often. Scientists and engineers alike all agree (though sometimes you have to get them liquored up beforehand) 600 tons of metal is slightly heavier than air. Eventually some captain is gonna get cocky and try to impress a steward by attempting a manoeuvre he saw in a cartoon and when the smoke clears I want the triage team to find me with Rick Lupert’s poetry in my cold, dead hands. Or even my blackened, crispy hands. Or just sort of hugged to my pulverised chest by a couple of stumps. I want some airline spokesperson to present a volume of Rick Lupert’s poetry to my family and say “This was found in Mr. Constantine’s cold, dead, blackened, crispy, completely severed hands. I’m sure he would want you to have it.” Wow, I’m like really depressed all of a sudden. You know what else? The title of this book is A Man With No Teeth Serves Us Breakfast. How depressing is that? Come to think of it, when I originally spoke to Rick about writing this introduction, I asked him how many teeth he had and he didn’t even know. Then, after I agreed to hold so he could count, he comes back and says “I count twenty eight, does that sound right?” How in God’s name am I supposed to know? And yet he expects us to preceive some sort of irony in the fact that a waiter in London (a city in a country where this book is partially set and which is at some great distance from America, across a body of water with Greenland floating on it) has no apparent teeth? Well, we’ll let that go for now. You read the book and tell me what you think. That is, if I haven’t already been horribly killed as a result of plumiting toward the earth from thousands of feet in the sky. Then you’ll have to tell somebody else. And when you find that someone else, rest assured that my family will be reading my charred or water damaged copy of this book and making up their own minds.
............................................... April 30, 2007