Although his early poems were rather hard-edged, fist in the air, anti-establishment-based rhetoric, which sprang from the notion that he knew much more than he really did, or that one could know things he now believes are unknowable, Oppenheimer finally found his voice with a much more solid, if not yet settled, style of verse.
Still tinged with the tone one might expect from a poet who has journeyed with one-way tickets on second-class sleepers throughout Asia, and whose education, while enhanced by reading an eclectic range of authors, owes the bulk of its knowledge to the rock and roll streets of experience, his work has been tempered by time and the elements.
It is a voice that sees the cosmos in simple, real terms, focusing on human existence at the intersection of the unknown and the commonplace.
Where two people share the task of making a bed, surrounded by a city of souls, dreaming, stealing, working, living and dying, by a nation full of torment, aspiration, disappointment and dedication, an earth on which we are just now seeing the light of stars that died nine billion years ago, a solar system with asteroids streaking toward planets, a universe with thousand and thousands of galaxies, and…
These two people, tucking in the sheets, find comfort and contentment in each other’s being. Admiring their strengths and appreciating their foibles, they watch as life’s tempests lay bare an honest core of love, as mysterious as a black hole in space and as ordinary as a smile. Understanding to the depth of their being that faith in each other and in creation can bring them life’s little peace.