Cover image for One hand on the wheel
One hand on the wheel
Bellm, Dan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley, Calif. : Roundhouse Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
65 pages ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3552.E53374 O54 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Poetry. Gay and Lesbian Studies. A gay son's troubled homage to his father, ONE HAND ON THE WHEEL is also the first book in the new California Poetry Series by Roundhouse Press a new imprint of Hayday Books. In a series of linked poems, a gay son at his father's deathbed (no accident/ it's me, Dad, your mortal enemy and friend . . . ) uncovers his family's past and his own passage from childhood to raising a son. Singular, fresh . . . [Dan Bellm] is an American artist of enormous gifts and discipline - June Jordan. Dan Bellm's courageous and human poems are a strong inauguration for the California Poetry Series. A very fine book - Adrienne Rich.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Oedipus killed his father but at least never had to live with him. Although Bellm didn't kill him, he did have to live with his father, an angry truckdriver, classically unable to express love, who really didn't love his gay son. Yet in the first poem of this compelling set devoted to pondering father and his influence, Bellm holds his dying father's hand. Succeeding poems grieve, sympathize with Bellm's mother, and range the past, trying to understand the willful isolation, especially from their families, of generations of Bellms. As early as 1841, "Karl B." chillingly refuses to write home: "they will not hear a word. I will not tell them pleasant lies about America." Combing his own past, Bellm establishes his difference from them in sensibility and sociability as well as--because of?--sexuality. In the haunted present, Bellm has become an adoptive father much more present than his own was. The matter of these poems is so powerful that Bellm's great skill in the sestina, the villanelle, and unrhymed forms is nearly invisible. --Ray Olson