Take Your Time Coming Home.
By Cleatus Rattan. Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2005. pbk. 81 pp. ISBN 1-881515-82-6. $12.95. http://www.shsu.edu/~www_trp/
Cleatus Rattan, Mayborn Professor at Mary Hardin-Baylor, has published several volumes, his own poems and explorations of major Europeans poets, and placed poems in many literary journals, including the prestigious Sewanee. Another recent title, The Border has been selected for wide study in Texas by the UIL. His honors accumulate.
Here, the reader has sections: Now and Then, The Nerve of Some People, Remainder, and The Players. Rattan is plain-spoken, even seemingly casual, in his word plays. Sophomoric teenagers may roll their eyes, but adults will find Rattan’s offerings insightful, amusing, melancholic, and tragic. Fortunately the “Good News” is that “Aunt Mary popped from a coven of Methodists” but was saved by the family. So through scenes of personal quandary, family moments, poetic dissonance, football, motorcycling, and ranching, Rattan reticently leads the reader to his places of private dialogue. It’s worth listening and taking your time.