Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Accidental Navigator by Henry Denander

Henry Denander’s latest collection of poems and one short story, The Accidental Navigator, is published by Lummox Press and has a conversational, close-friend tone that is familiar and comforting. The poems themselves describe Mr. Denander’s amazing life (amazing compared to mine, anyway) of his time working for a record company and meeting such famous people as Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Keith Jarrett. In addition, living on an island in Greece affords him wonderful tales to tell in poetic form as well. From poetry to music to every day life, Mr. Denander covers it all in a natural way that has you reading page to page before realizing the stories are coming to an end. I look forward to more poems and more stories from Mr. Denander and I’m happy to share a few of them with you:

Beauty Sleep

I am sleeping with a CPAP,
it’s a device that blows
air into my nose.

For years I’ve been snoring heavily and
suffered from sleep apnea.

With this tube attached to my nose
I no longer snore and I have a
good sleep.

But when I strap the mask on at night
my wife realizes I no longer look like
the handsome young man
she married

but more like Hannibal Lecter.

But I think she prefers
the Silence of the Lambs
to the Thunder in the Night.

This poem made me laugh. If you don’t know or remember who Hannibal Lecter is he is a character in the movie Silence of the Lambs and is known as a murdering psychopath. I love that this poem is conversational in tone, as though the poet is leaning into you and telling you this story.

The revenge of the couch potato

Zapping through the TV-channels
I stopped at Jeopardy, when I
Recognized a familiar face from
35 years ago.

It was an old teacher I remembered
for his beard and his clogs.

He was a besserwisser and here he
Was on prime time and I was sitting
on my couch watching him miss
almost every question.

At last he got what was coming to
him, Mr. Know-It-All.

I wish I could’ve been there in the
studio to tell him to do his lessons
better next time.

Mr. Denander’s story of sweet-sweet revenge watching a teacher who harassed him as a kid failing at Jeopardy is another one that makes me laugh aloud. We all know this type of person and we all feel grateful when they are put in their place, another great poem.

Accept your name

Henry Chesney Baker
and Henry Charles Bukowski;

if I had known about these guys when
I was young perhaps I would have liked
my own name better.

My name is OK now but I was never very
pleased with it when I was a kid.

At that time no one here in
Sweden knew about Chet or Buk
but now it’s god to be able to
tell people that both of them were
named Henry.

And no one needs to know that
Buk never liked Henry
but used Charles instead.

This poem is one I can relate to, I hated my name as a kid. My grandmother still doesn’t like her own name. This poem’s title is simple and true, accept your name, and then discover other people you admire with the same. A lovely poem that gets you thinking.


On eBay I bought a self-addressed and
stamped envelope that the poet Charles Bukowski
sent to Chiron Review in the 80’s.

This is the system, you send poems to a
magazine or a publisher and if they like them
they will use the SASE to reply to you.

More likely they will not use your poems and
return them in the SASE with a brief standard note
telling so.

Many poets have written about how they received
their first rejection letter or how they have their
drawers full of rejection slips.

Even Bukowski got rejection slips. In the early days.

I have framed the Bukowski envelope and
it looks nice on my wall.

It’s a nice conversation piece; when someone asks
about it I tell them the story of how it works and also,
sort of by the way,
I tell them that the Chiron Review is
actually the magazine where I had my
first poem published.

And I don’t mention any of my
rejection letters.

This poem is a tribute to all writers, in my opinion. All of us pine for a personal piece of a writer we admire, we all have those rejection letters saved (some of us shred them or delete them from our e-mails but we always have one or two saved). This poem is a guilty pleasure of mine to share with you all, simple as that.

If you enjoyed this review I urge you to Lummox Press for a copy of your very own. There are so many poems I would like to share but feel it better for you to indulge yourselves by finding a copy for yourself. To purchase a copy of The Accidental Navigator by Henry Denander for $15.00 (not including S/H), visit Lummox Press at:


To learn more about Henry Denander go to:


Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…


RD Armstrong said...

Thank you for a very personal yet insightful review.

Poet Hound said...

Dear RD,
Quite welcome, thank you also.