Milky Way Poems. Mike Rigsby. 40 pages. Carolina Wren Press. $3.00/paper.

Milky Way Poems, Mike Rigsby’s newest is an extraordinary free flight, a rough riding, plain-spoken, sky-glider of a voyage through the strangest and often most terrifying of all universes we know the human mind itself.

Since his first volume two years ago (Spirit Happy, Loom Press), his insight has intensified, his stark, almost epigramic style has been sharpened:

Last nite
I was the hit and run victim
of a bad dream.

The only thing I remember
is the driver.

Rigsby has the ability to laugh, whether it be dour, kneeslapping or gentle. His sometimes sardonic jibes do not detract, but enhance, and his work is consistently accented with a genial sprinkling of contained and often compassionate humor, the proven salvation of people, poets or not:

I’d much rather meet
a poet on the run
then a poet in residence.

Reality is Rigsby’s chosen classroom and he is at home there. Obviously he has studied conscientiously with a camera’s eye to detail and a faithful, sometimes flawless, ear for our language as it is spoken and lived today.

All told, “Milky Way” calls for congratulations all around: to Michael Rigsby for a stunning accomplishment and to readers fortunate enough to be on board.

Virginia L. Rudder