“Island Dreams” by Lisa Panepinto – Cabildo Press #9/35 [Curiosities #75]

Lisa Panepinto - "Island Dreams" - Cabildo Press (Illustration by Sketch Gorsuch)

Or was it just the minds running fast in black and silver clouds across the moon, in low clouds of fog leaving hospital doors laughing?”

Tin Indians guard junkyards of car skeletons in Montana planes.”

I’ve got a lot of time to be nothing.”

I lay in my car with the seat down, listening to the end of Nina Simone’s meditation, What is time, and where does it go, most of all, is it alive?’

” … People walking home from the bar, entering thru strange doors up strange stairs heaving their bundles of bone.”

” … The first thing he says is, How do you spell tomorrow?‘ ”

I don’t normally dip into the literary world here at the Grove, but I’ve been meaning to start. The above-quotes are lifted from a recent book by author Lisa Panepinto, Island Dreams, published by the good people at Cabildo Press.

I knew Panepinto — undisputed queen of having a great, fun-to-say last name (just try it out loud) — back in my college-radio days. She contributed some copy to the magazine I was starting at the time, The Gumshoe Revue, and I always figured we’d stay in touch.

I didn’t realize, however, that I’d become a bona fide fan of hers. Island Dreams is a small book with big emotions, big dreams and a HUGE sense of time, place and observation. I’m reminded of some of my favorite poets, including William Carlos Williams and Michael Ryan (Threats Instead of Trees especially).

If I could watch the human comedy unfold in front of my eyes and crystallize it the way Panepinto does, I’d probably be trying to be a poetry professor somewhere. But I can’t; I leave that to people more in touch with their innermost soul. People like Panepinto.

There’s a strong sense of both coasts, too, which I appreciate because I made the trek from West to East to and was BLOWN AWAY by how different, but the same, everything was.

Panepinto senses this familiarity, as well, but she’s too focused on the world around her to get too caught up in analyzing her life. She’s much more content reveling in the seasons, asking questions we all never thought to ask, taking the Normal and rendering it Surreal and then explaining it back to us before we even think to request her to.

Does this make sense? I hope so, because I want to do Island Dreams justice. It’s so much more vital than most pedestrian rock records (listening to Wilderness‘ awful Vessel States is only driving this point home right now) it makes me wonder whether I’m starting to tire of this whole review-70,000-records-every-year lifestyle.

Should I be doing something more worthwhile? Probably.

Until I get the chance to do something Important, however, at least I have Island Dreams to remind me that there are Americans out there who still appreciate nature and other structures outside the mega-commercial bubble we all seem to have been transported to at some point or another.

It takes courage to write a book like this. There’s really nothing left to say. Hell, if I saw Panepinto in person it’d probably be awkward now that I’ve read such a revealing tome (just kiddin’, come visit Colorado!).

But don’t take my word for it (don’t you hate it when reviewers say that?); get to know her yourself by purchasing/checking out the book yourself via the following e-mail address/Facebook:


If you hurry you might be able to get a limited, signed copy! As it is this thing is limited to 35 copies so HURRY THE FUGGUP, man!


Filed under Calbido Press, Panepinto Lisa

6 responses to ““Island Dreams” by Lisa Panepinto – Cabildo Press #9/35 [Curiosities #75]

  1. I do not write so good but i had to say remember to, I will attempt to say if it is possible to dream it, you can do it.

  2. Just seeing this Grant. Thank you so much for this review, I’m truly honored. It’s definitely the best response to my writing I’ve ever seen…It means a lot coming from such a talented rocker and writer as yourself!

  3. Alivia Moore

    Sweet Ass- You rock my world! I’m gonna get a copy stat!


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