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Moving with Every

June 1, 2020

“Baudelaire says, ‘It’s the devil who holds the strings.’ But between these covers, an angel pulls those same filaments. Treat yourself to a dance with Raphael. He might – if you pay careful attention – let you take the lead. MOVING WITH EVERY is a ball not to miss.”  – Willie Smith


Yes, it’s dan’s 23rd book (!), which poet and teacher Leanne Grabel properly describes:


Dan Raphael is towering–in size and in imagination. He is a fount of sage observation, a linguistic sculptor who layers description of the mundane with the elaboration of the  fantastical. Raphael’s readers get to take an astonishing ride that swoops and dives and dances. It’s a world that’s almost random, turbulent, thrilling, veering, twisting, laughing. It’s a world that, in the end, is delicious as Raphael’s messages settle over us slowly like a silk throw.


“I fly to the place of organic, pre-lingual magic
and sip my bowl of shaman ramen ’til the truth comes by
with an offer i can barely afford”


Dan Raphael’s world is a world where decimal points become poppy seeds, rivers hurl fish bones at the stars, eagles drink at the bar, starlings play pool, bass riffs twitch like perches, the wind, pocketless, collects things anyway, crows wear edwardian capes, hair is infested with sun, a sun that later gets stuck in traffic. The descriptions are impeccable.


And to read Raphael’s poetry is to ride a rubber ball, bouncing in a small cube of glass within a larger cube of class within a larger cube of glass within a large cube of glass within now within today. Yes it’s a rollercoaster. Yes it makes your head spin. Yes it seems right.

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dan raphael

dan raphael moved to Oregon in 1976, and lived in Ashland almost two years before moving to Portland, where he has lived since. For over 4 decades, he has been active in the Northwest as poet, performer, editor and reading host. For 17 years, dan edited NRG Magazine. He then published 26 Books—26 chapbooks of 26 pages each by 26 Oregon and Washington poets. He also ran a monthly reading series in downtown Portland for 13 years, and organized Poetland—80 writers reading in 8 different venues in an 8 hour stretch. For nearly 4 years now he has written a current events poem most Wednesdays for the KBOO Evening News. Oh, and he worked for the DMV for 32 years.