Review of The Richard Nixon Snow Globe by Rob McLennan.

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Wicklow, Ireland: I just got a package of Wild Honey Press chapbooks in the mail, including The Richard Nixon Snow Globe by Californian poet Rachel Loden (and doesn’t it just sound like a Richard Brautigan title, somehow?). There’s something about Nixon and the 1960s and 1970s that seems to seep into her poems on a regular basis, something that was also evident in her first collection of poems, Hotel Imperium (University of Georgia Press, 1999). Hotel Imperium, much like the current collection of twenty-four pages, wrote on the complications of history in hindsight, working through the fall of the Soviet Union, Richard Nixon, Woody Allen and Little Richard, blending them all together into both poems and commentaries disguised as each other.


Some ambitions are blonde and impetuous
Like searching Google’s endless manse
For a Richard Nixon snow globe
Letting desire overcome good sense

Because one night under a dappled moon
A man with the requisite supply
Of glitter flakes and plastic
Might have physically needed to make one

So he could see Dick’s head inside a dome
While hoodoo snow is falling
On the baby bush tricked out with lights
In his rancho home sweet ovum

Just what is it about Richard Nixon? Throughout the collection, Loden also touches on Playmates, Leonid Brezhnev and the current American President. There is something about Loden’s light touch of phrase that I’ve always been attracted to, even making the hard turns seem less severe. Still, the collection is predominantly about Richard Nixon, both political and cultural figure, and the only American President that had to leave office in disgrace. And I wonder if she’s written a piece to go along with the recent outing of Deep Throat?

// posted by rob mclennan @ 2:11 PM

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