The idea is to throw out a net of words
to catch the poem

a net such as Vulcan makes
at the ocean's depths
in a fiery cave
                           a net of fire in water
                           forged by one
                           cast out
                                          cuckold of Venus
                                          lame joke of the gods
whose hairy blacksmith hands
can make a net such as Neptune uses
to hold the waves

                               a net of words
                               arching back on itself
                               to contain
                                                 an exploded

a net of light cast into a galaxy
of dancing stars

              choreography of answers
              in a dark chamber
              where the soul
              is revealed

as a net of questions
in a net of breath

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The only other person I can compare this to is Goethe ... powerful stuff!
— Paul Elisha, NPR-WAMC
Great writing, no doubt about it.
— Andre Codrescu, NPR
The shaman, the therapist, and the poet all re-create language so that we may again have words for what ails us, and thereby seek a cure. What strikes me as particularly admirable about Pines’ poetry is that his words attain to this condition while maintaining the utmost clarity and the most poised lyricism. At age seventy-one, Pines has distilled a lifetime of reading, thinking, caring, and writing into Divine Madness. It is indeed divinest sense.
— Norman Finkelstein , JACKET2
In these beautifully crafted poems Paul Pines takes us on a dizzying ride through mythological and religious thinkers, through science and philosophy. It is the quest of a man trying to hear the “music/beneath the music” that he hopes, doubts, believes is there—Divine Madness. Pines asks what it means to face death and despair, what it means to doubt meaning while believing in meaning, what it has meant through the centuries.
— Susan Sherman
An empathic scatting to the music of the spheres…from both the deepest interior of human consciousness and the farthest reach of the celestial dome...
— Fred Muratori, The Notre Dame Review
With extraordinary daring and inspiration, Paul Pines has dedicated the art he has exquisitely crafted for a lifetime to the service of the divine madness that has always distinguished poetry from mere writing. In relentless pursuit of the unity we instinctively crave, he captures the universal analogy anew by connecting us to the consciousness of the gods in men through dazzling poem after poem in this stunning book.
— George Economou
Pines goes right to the radical nature of metaphor in poetry, not ornament but sudden discernment: sharp observation of historical events and natural things leads directly, deeply, to moral awareness. His lines seem to question the assertions they embody: interrogate by interruption. He is the quiet sage who makes everything in his room a tender plaything. Try the poem on Audubon and see a masterful riff on how to watch with the heart.
— Robert Kelly
I am really moved by this work; segment after segment opens into familiar places, and then into places unfamiliar.
— James Hollis
Few books nourish the psyche and stir the heart as much as “My Brother’s Madness.”
— David Unger, " Life in the Damn Tropics"
…some of the most memorable and finely wrought poems of anybody on the scene today…
— Louis Proyect, The Unrepentent Marxist
...This where Paul Pines excels. He sends the reader out on a “raft of snakes” into the terra incongnita, pushing the voyager to cross boundaries and seek new horizons, and then he shows the common rubble everyone must contend with, and brings it all back home, into the present, making “Divine Madness” something that anyone can aspire to be touched by.
— Boston Small Press & Poetry Scene